How to structure philosophical writings.

Without structure, there can be no logic. Without logic, there can be no arguments. Without arguments, there can be no philosophy. Therefore, to write philosophy, you need to learn how to structure your text.

Except, was that a valid argument? In fact, it' wasn't. It had the form If P, then Q. Not Q, therefore not P - which is an invalid argument form. But how could I tell so easily? Because my text was structured.

Oh my, we seem to have a liers paradox. The first paragraph has an unsound structure, yet it was structured enough to give weight to the second paragraph, which criticised it. Therefore it had good enough structure to be criticised, and was in that sense philosophical. Only because it worked could it show that it didn't, and framed as "being true", that is then called a liers paradox.

Having now written three paragraphs, we can start to analyse why these actually work to form text we can analyse. In the first two paragraphs, the first sentences are premises, and then comes the conclusion drawn from these. That is very straight forward. But, if we didn't go beyond this, our text would be very flat, and all our paragraphs would only serve to elucidate simple facts. Therefore the third paragraph takes the first two paragraphs as it's premises, and then connects them to show a third thing. Now the essay has gained it's first measure of depth. The current paragraph is again taking all the above under one to prove a point, and we have thus come to the second level of depth. Only by having a clear structure, can one's own writing be easy enough to deal with to make such complex arguments are you are currently reading. The next paragraph will again drop down to the simplest level of complexity, because with the end of this paragraph, this line of reasoning is now finished.

Instead we are now prepared to say something of the lowly sentence. Each sentence is comprised of a collection of concepts. Generally we can divide these into subjects, predicates and connectives. In this sentence "these" was the subject, pointing back to "concepts", "generally" "into" were connectives, and "predicates", "subjects", and "connectives" were predicates.

Philosophical ideas, like "being" and "analysis", have very well defined definitions, consisting of sentences that are reducible, just the way I described just now. They have "inherent depth", and an essay of very often about taking these philosophical concepts, which will then take the form of a "subject", and shepherding them safely through a text, illuminating them with different predicates, and trying out how they look when the connectives change around them. 

A typical philosophical essay will ask you to compare two philosophers. When we do that, it is typically not the philosophers we discuss, but rather the key concepts they have developed.
This can become very complex when each philosopher already has three to five interconnected concepts, and one's job is to see how all these relate with the other philosopher's four concepts.

 Now, think of all these concepts as your base units. Your next job is to build a sentence out of them. Now think of it like this; "One word, one idea." And then "One sentence, one proposition". You typically only want to say one thing per sentence. More than that, and chaos is loose. The third one is; "One paragraph, one argument." But from there, there is no higher place. Why? Because every argument, however large, can become the premise of a new argument.

Listen to this; A. "The bible is a cornerstone in our culture." A. "The works of Plato are a cornerstone in our culture." C. "Let these be the legs you stand on to survey our common heritage." In this argument structure the whole of The Bible and the whole of the corpus of Plato are arguments for C. You can do the same thing to any greater or smaller structure within your text, as long as it is clear.

To make an optimal structure for your essay or writing then, you should remember these things: Only keep arguments that bear on the central question. Make sure that the ideas your bring into your discussions are used according to their internal structure, and also work as intended within your sentences. And, be careful to structure your arguments so that they follow each other, and be clear when you are starting a new chain of arguments.