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The dissertation is a written and reasoned presentation of reflection on a given question, phenomenon or subject. It requires that ideas be organized and structured in a clear, logical, and synthetic way so that the reader can easily understand the subject or take a stand. She develops the attitude to communicate information and to structure her thought while showing originality and synthesis spirit. Finally, the dissertation must inform the reader in a safe and interesting way.
SPECIFICITIES OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL DISSERTATION
The philosophical dissertation is a text where, starting from a problematic or a question, one tries to demonstrate a personal thesis. This work is done by referring to two or more philosophical conceptions. The activity of dissertation is exercised on the basis of a philosophical problem raised by an affirmation, a theory or theories or by one or more specific situations. Between all the texts produced in philosophy, the dissertation is the exercise by which the student can best articulate his own thought.
To make a philosophical dissertation, you must:
- Present the theme and the starting question, if there is one.
- Develop a problem, that is, clarify the statements or the starting point, identify one or more issues that are secondary to the main theme, identify the issues, show why the topic is controversial, and so on.
- Take a stand, that is, support a personal thesis in response to the main question asked. This position will have to be based on an argumentation integrating philosophical conceptions.
- State another possible thesis and briefly outline the argumentation that supports it.
- Formulate the refutation of the other thesis, that is to say, criticize it, either by a rebuttal, by demonstrating its contestability, or by a concession, recognizing that the other thesis is partly founded, but that the the starting thesis is more so.
A philosophical dissertation must:
• include elements borrowed from the philosophical tradition, for example, concepts and theories;
• propose an analytical dimension where the demonstration explores in depth the various constitutive elements of the problem, ie the theses present, the stakes or others;
• be based on credible, relevant and clearly articulated arguments that go beyond the mere expression of an opinion.
THE LITERARY DISSERTATION
In the literary dissertation, one must demonstrate the value of a thesis, using rational means. We must always support the argumentation on the literary texts studied.
The explanatory dissertation
In the explanatory dissertation, the content of the analyzed text is related to the proposed dissertation subject, which is a truth to be proved. Here we exclude discussion, criticism or the expression of a personal opinion. The purpose of the explanatory dissertation is to adhere fully to the idea contained in the subject and to demonstrate it.
The critical dissertation
In the critical dissertation, one takes a position with respect to a statement and it is his own thesis that is supported in the demonstration, by means of evidence drawn from the literary text (s) under study and explanations.