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Max L.
UPenn Philosophy Ph.D. Student
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

What are two tricks for reducing the length of an essay and for giving it a better flow?

Max L.
Answer:

One trick for reducing the length of an essay and giving it a better flow is to go through every sentence in your essay and ask yourself, “Is this sentence helping to support my thesis?” If your answer is no, then you can delete that sentence. Another trick for doing this is to also ask yourself, “Is this sentence redundant in any way, i.e., have I already included the information contained in this sentence somewhere else in the essay (other than in the introduction or conclusion)?” If the answer is yes, then you can delete that part of the sentence or the sentence itself.

Religious Studies
TutorMe
Question:

What are the three common dimensions of religion according to modern sociologists?

Max L.
Answer:

Modern socialists argue that people can be related to their religion along at least three different dimensions: believing, behaving, and belonging. Believing occurs when a person believes the contents or doctrines of their religion. Behaving occurs when a person acts in accordance with the doctrines of their religion. Belonging occurs when a person identifies as being a member of a given religious group. Importantly, these three dimensions often come apart in practice. For example, many people believe in the official doctrines of their religion and identify as belonging to that religion, but fail to act in accordance with what the official doctrines mandate. A common example of this is the use of contraception by believing Catholics.

Philosophy
TutorMe
Question:

According to John Stuart Mill, what is the (ontological) difference between higher and lower pleasures?

Max L.
Answer:

Mill thinks that pleasures can differ not only in quantity, but also in quality. While the quantity of pleasure is simply determined by how much of it is experienced, the quality of pleasure is determined by its cause. Lower pleasures are those caused by our lower capacities, e.g., our sensual capacities. Thus, the pleasures of eating, drinking, and having sex are all lower pleasures. Higher pleasures, on the other hand, are caused by our higher capacities, e.g., our capacities to reason or imagine things. Thus, the pleasures of solving an intellectually stimulating problem or creating a work of art are higher pleasures.

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