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Philosophy EE

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I'm doing a philosophy EE on Hannibal Lecter and whether his murders/killings can be justified using the theory of ethical egoism. In the subject guidelines for philosophy, under criterion F, there's an outline on how to analyse texts, but I'm not sure if it applies to only philosophical texts, or if it applies to any text used in the EE. Can someone please clarify?

And if it applies to any text, and I use it to analyse the Hannibal novels, is the author's standpoint still relevant?

Thanks in advance.

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As your novel is only a basic starting point (i.e. it shouldn't really feature a great deal in your essay except for the odd paraphrase of a concept or incidence you're trying to discuss - make sure you stick to the Philosophy and not the novel!) and is not a Philosophical work or argument in itself, the answer here is that it's only the Philosophical texts you use in relation to the concepts of the essay which will need to be analysed. Obviously if there's an instance in this Hannibal Lecter thing where you have to analyse a particular event in terms of the theory itself, you'll need to analyse stuff like (for instance) blame distribution etc., but the meat of your essay should be using the idea of philosophical egoism and arguing it through. So hopefully you won't need to analyse the Hannibal Lecter thing in a philosophical way - you're only analysing the issues its scenarios raise, and how various people have suggested they be dealt with etc.

Otherwise known as: you only need to philosophically analyse philosophical ideas, concepts and arguments, wherever they crop up.

As you're more or less doing a matching up essay (I say matching up because it's one of those "this is X in theory" / "this is X identified here in reality" sorts of things) you're going to have to be very careful to be argumentative rather than descriptive. Make sure, for instance, that you have a nice little bit of clarification and counter-argument squashing carefully distributed throughout the essay :P Definitely! That's where the points are. A spot of "one objection to this might be [blah], but this is easily answered by [amazingly smart answer here]" never goes amiss!

Good luck.

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