Top critical review
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Great for undergrads, not so great for grads.
on June 18, 2012
I read this book thoroughly in about 1.5 hours. It has the advantage of being small, easily digested. It does a fair job of explaining philosophy, and the importance of logic and argument. The other reviews are largely from undergrad students who were assigned this for their class. I do think this might be a good book for an intro level philosophy course, especially for someone who has just rolled out of high school and who may need to know how to write.
But this book does not have the depth for graduates. I bought this in part because I thought it would help me write a paper to submit with my application to a Ph.D programme in philosophy at a very respected university. This book, however, will not help you to write publishable philosophy journal articles. Mostly its advice is focused on keeping you and I from making (what should be) obvious errors in our writing - no slippery slope fallacies, no racism, double check your assumptions, no ad-hominem attacks, etc.
I should condition my criticism by saying the book does not really advertise itself to do what I wanted it to do. Its subtitle is "A student's guide to writing philosophy essays" - not "Becoming a master writer in the field of philosophy."