Against “Effective Treatments”

I am agitating for philosophers of medicine and philosophically-minded clinicians to lead the charge against the term “effective treatment”. This phrase has become ubiquitous in the medical and philosophical literature. But it is a misguided choice which misleads the public and practitioners alike. In general, I want to promote talk about …

Two Dogmas of Evidence Hierarchies

Hierarchies of evidence in Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) come in many varieties and have been very influential in medical practice and policy since the late 1990s. However, two fundamental problematic assumptions underpin the use of hierarchies of any kind in clinical practice: (1) that evidence can and should be appraised in …

Reading Effectively (WritePhilosophy Guide)

It sounds odd to say that you don’t know how to read academic papers. You start at the beginning, keep reading until the end—right? But the problem of being unable to cope with academic reading is probably the most common complaint amongst students at all levels. The truth is that reading for academic purposes is just not the same as other kinds of reading. You have to read actively, selectively and purposefully.

Using Literature (WritePhilosophy Guide)

How many sources should a philosophy paper use? How do you cite these works and avoid accusations of plagiarism? How do you present other philosophers’ ideas and arguments in your paper? Should you include quotations? These are very common questions which students face. Let’s look at the ways you should and should not use literature in your essays.

Fallacies (WritePhilosophy Guide)

A fallacy is a mistake or error in reasoning. Fallacies can be accidental errors, or can be deliberately crafted to be misleading. Many different types of fallacy have been described across many fields. Understanding fallacies is useful for philosophers to identify fallacious reasoning in arguments which we are criticising, and to avoid committing them in our own work.

Banned Words (WritePhilosophy Guide)

You can improve your philosophical writing by removing certain words and phrases. Some phrases weaken your papers by introducing vagueness and ambiguity, by wasting words, or by acting as a crutch to prevent you saying what you really need to say. Here we’ve compiled a list of “banned” words and phrases. By banning yourself from using these, you can improve your philosophical style.