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How to Study Philosophy Effectively

We know that studying philosophy is not easy and often during the study we get lost in the author’s reasoning, in the complex concepts at first sight and, after hours and hours of study, nothing really enters our head.


Philosophy exams are always among the most feared, but calm, calm, in this article we will give you a series of useful tips to make the study of philosophy more “digestible”. It might not be as easy as delegating your assignments to a paper writer, but our tips will make your time learning easier.

Understanding Philosophy: The Importance of the Historical-social Context and Culture

The first fundamental thing to understanding philosophy is the socio-historical context in which the author finds himself living and thinking.

Let’s start with a premise, the word philosophy derives from the ancient Greek “ philein ” and “ sophià ”, meaning “to love” and “knowledge”. We can say that the meaning of the word philosophy is literally ” to love knowledge “.

The philosopher thinks about certain topics and asks himself questions about life and the way of life in general. He tries to interpret the facts through knowledge, dialoguing with wisdom.

This brings us to the context.

Although philosophy tries to enunciate universal truths, knowing very well the historical and cultural context in which the philosopher is inserted will allow you to better understand the reason for the questions posed by the philosopher himself.

Politics, the customs of society, culture, and laws; all these factors affect the vision and thought of an author, so to understand philosophy well you definitely need to create a frame that gives you the historical context.

The professional essay writers already know all this, but you as a student must keep track of this point all the time.

The Importance of the Lessons to Study Philosophy Correctly

If you are wondering how to study philosophy, you cannot ignore the lessons.

When we are faced with professors who are passionate about their subject, the explanations often become so engaging that the lesson hours fly.

A live explanation of an author’s philosophical thought is very important in order not to get bogged down in long apparently meaningless sentences written in the book.

Also, feel free to ask all the questions you want to the professor. Philosophy often pushes you to think and ask questions in your head, so take advantage of the lesson or, possibly, the professor’s office hours, to ask your questions.

In short, studying philosophy alone is not easy, but if we ask the professor to help us first, with his explanations and answers, we will have a valid ally, not an enemy to fight, and this will also be seen in the exam.

Philosophy Notes: Avoid Writing Word for Word

Carefully follow the logical connections that the teacher proposes to you in class. Usually, philosophical thought follows its own logic (deductive, inductive, and so on), and to fully understand an author it is essential to follow the logical steps.

So here this comes in handy as far as the notes are concerned. Absolutely avoid taking philosophy notes as if you were writing a mega summary of what the teacher says.

Writing word for word will only lead to distraction, not being able to keep up with what is being explained, and above all not having an adequately effective study material.

The notes must be effective, that is, in the moment of study, they must support the book to understand and fix a topic in memory. But if we write huge volumes, we will never reread the notes or waste time trying to understand them too.

Instead, try to write schematic notes.

Write down the author, the historical context, and some “personal” data, then immediately move on to the connections and logic.

Write a few words, connect them with arrows, and draw sketches if it helps. Keep the focus on the explanation and not on the notes.

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The Final Phase: Oral Exposure to Philosophy Exams

I don’t want to dwell much on this aspect because here we are talking about how to study philosophy. In this regard, we must be able to sustain a speech well and answer the questions of prof.

When you are studying philosophy, after having schematized and memorized the main steps of your schemes, the final phase of the pre-exam review comes.

Here we recommend a technique that will surely help you: answer the professor’s possible questions in writing.

In addition to repeating verbally, try to answer the main questions by writing small “themes”, no more than half a page or a page.

Use your words, take the time to do it. You are not under scrutiny, and you do not have time pressure, you just have to develop thought and write it down.

Writing allows us to think a lot about what we are going to say, use the right words, to connect arguments in a reasoned way.

Only after you are able to answer philosophy questions in writing will you be able to repeat a topic greatly.

Finally, I am sure that this other simple technique can help you: try to explain to a person who knows nothing about it, the thought of a philosopher in a few minutes.

Ask the problem, talk about the context, and then explain the reason for that thought. Do it by leaving out the details, you don’t have to impress the professor on the exam, but just pass the concept on to a friend of yours.

How to Study Philosophy, Let’s Take Stock of the Situation

If you study philosophy and have your own study method that you feel comfortable with, then that’s great. However, learning is only one part of being a student, writing academic papers is also a big part! This article will help you if you’re struggling with this: The Top 5 Tips to Writing an Amazing College Paper.

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