how fast do you read your philo books? how do you collect your material to essay writing? do you use any special sources from internet? And I mean some serious search engine or data collection, not just wikipedia or google... thanks! following you on tumblr and goodreads!
How reading works for me
Most tutors on my course work from photocopied A4 ‘reading packs’. We get them during the seminar each week, we read most of it in class and then anything we didn’t get to I read at home or on the way home. For the first essay of the module we are expected to use the reading packs for the majority of the material we quote. The second essay is usually more specific and can be individually set rather than having the same title for the whole class. In this case there’s an expectation that we read deeper into the subject and quote material from outside the reading packs. For one of our tutors there are no reading packs and I have to use the library on both their essays.
I very rarely use Google or Wikipedia when researching for an essay. I will try and find a book on the subject in the library which is an outline and then use the bibliography of that to find some primary texts to read. As far as possible I try and quote from primary texts. The course outlines the tutors provide also have really good reading lists and if all else fails I just email them and ask.
Online I like to use the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy which is more in-depth and professionally-written than Wikipedia. For classical texts I always use the Perseus Digital Library if I can’t get a physical copy. The Marxist Internet Archive doesn’t exactly look like a reliable academic source but it has a really thorough archive or anything Marxist from Adorno to Zizek. Obviously there’s sites like the Gutenberg Project for anything out-of-copyright but the translations can be patchy and my university library usually has a copy of anything I might be looking for. I much prefer to work from a physical book when I can.
How fast do I read philosophy books? I wouldn’t say I do much ‘reading’ in the traditional sense of reading page-after-page of the same book. I am a bit of a devotee of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book which explains how best to tackle a philosophical tome (you can find a PDF of it without too much searching). Essentially his advice boils down to skimming the book, picking out the relevant parts, actively reading them and taking notes.
[I hope this was helpful or mildly interesting to you. Keep in touch, I always like to speak to other people who study philosophy