Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

User avatar
DGLitcH
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:36 pm

Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby DGLitcH » Thu May 06, 2010 10:49 pm

I'm thinking of taking a couple of philosophy courses. Can you advice on which ones might be useful for the LSAT? Either because it helps with the logic/reasoning, helps with familiarity on topics that appear in RC, or simply because it helps with readings skills. I have had trouble with dense RC or abstract RC topics (such as with philosophy topics) in the past, so I like to improve on that. Thanks!

I have listed the courses below with a brief description given by the course. The courses in red are the ones I am leaning towards either because it has legal readings or because it has dense topics that might be tested on the LSAT.

Basic Principles Law (This one is not philosophy but I listed it anyways: A selection of contract, torts, criminal and administrative law. Head this course is like a course in law school.)

Law and Morality (Examine questions about the relation between law and morality)

17-18th Century Philosophy (Readings and focus will be on Montaigne, Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant)

Introduction to Philosophy (Overview of the central branches of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. It will be covering issues such as the compatibility of free will and determinism, the relation between mind and body, the nature and extent of knowledge, and the foundations of morality)

Persons, Minds, and Bodies (This is primarily a course in the metaphysics of mind)

Introduction to Ethics (An introduction to three of the main moral theories through intensive study of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and Mill’s Utilitarianism)

Bioethics (Moral questions surrounding abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia and human cloning)

Philosophy of Minds

Philosophy of Natural Sciences

Literature and Philosophy

User avatar
merichard87
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby merichard87 » Thu May 06, 2010 10:55 pm

bump. Also interested in which Philosophy classes are good

User avatar
suspicious android
Posts: 938
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby suspicious android » Fri May 07, 2010 12:00 am

if you haven't taken an intro to philosophy class, you should start there. Unless your university packs the classes with more than 20 or so students, in which case they might not be so great. Anyway, anything that introduces you to the ideas of rhetoric and argumentation would be helpful, but not hugely helpful. Better to just concentrate on classes that require you to think analytically, develop arguments, read and write a lot. Philosophy classes do that, but so does any good liberal arts class.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby tomwatts » Fri May 07, 2010 12:02 am

Pretty much any of those is probably good for LSAT-level abstraction and density. Philosophy of Natural Sciences might be particularly good for LSAT science passages, and Law and Morality might be particularly good for, well, law/morality passages.

A logic class (whether symbolic/formal or informal) — which you didn't list, but is often in the Philosophy department — might also be useful.

User avatar
idiothek
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:18 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby idiothek » Fri May 07, 2010 12:06 am

none of those help. remember: lsat is not content based. just do your reading for whatever classes you were gonna take anyway and make sure you keep that gpa up :wink:

however, i would suggest these types of courses:

intro to critical thinking/intro to argumentation

symbolic logic/formal logic/mathematical logic

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby romothesavior » Fri May 07, 2010 12:08 am

Nothing you learn in a philosophy class will be directly tested on the LSAT. The LSAT is not testing you on what you know about the law or any other subject matter. It will have passages about about law, the natural sciences, history, literature, policy, etc., but the questions will not have anything to do with what you actually know. The questions will test your ability to understand the readings, understand flaws in arguments, recognize assumptions within arguments, etc.

A philosophy course may help you learn to read and write more effectively, and I'd highly recommend philosophy courses for that reason. My major in philosophy has vastly helped me develop my skills to read, write, and critically think. I think these skills gave me a leg up on the LSAT, and I think they will (hopefully) give me a leg up in law school. And philosophy is a lot of fun to study! But these law classes are not going to teach you anything substantive that you'll need to know for the test. For that reason, I would just pick one that you will do well in, that you like the professor who is teaching it, and one that interests you.

PS. I would highly recommend a logic class, if your philosophy dept. offers one. This will actually teach you skills needed for the test (contrapositives, analyzing arguments, etc.) But the ones you mentioned will not give you a substantial leg up for the LSAT.

User avatar
Mroberts3
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:10 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby Mroberts3 » Fri May 07, 2010 12:09 am

+1 for logic class. It might not seem to mesh with the LSAT right away (it seems more like math at first) but it will help you intuitively grasp LSAT strategies faster. And take any class that has Hume as a major component. Although I think it's probably pretty rare, and it won't necessarily help with the LSAT, do it just for kicks.

User avatar
DGLitcH
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:36 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby DGLitcH » Fri May 07, 2010 12:16 am

I am not of background in arts, so all of the philosophy courses are new to me. I'm not sure if intro to philosophy would be better or something like 17-18th Century philosophy that has more focus.

I heard that analytic philosophy is good for the LSAT. I dont really know what is considered analytic philosophy, does anyone know if any of the courses that I listed are considered analytical philosophy?

And all the courses that I listed are the only ones available for the summer session.

User avatar
DGLitcH
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:36 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby DGLitcH » Fri May 07, 2010 12:20 am

I understand that LSAT will not expect you to bring in outside knowledge but I was hoping by doing some of the philosophy courses, I could have more familiar with some of the common topics that might show up in RC. I recall a there was a RC passage on deconstruction and even though the passage explained the topic a little, the topic was very new to me and I had trouble grasping the concepts.

romothesavior wrote:Nothing you learn in a philosophy class will be directly tested on the LSAT. The LSAT is not testing you on what you know about the law or any other subject matter. It will have passages about about law, the natural sciences, history, literature, policy, etc., but the questions will not have anything to do with what you actually know. The questions will test your ability to understand the readings, understand flaws in arguments, recognize assumptions within arguments, etc.

A philosophy course may help you learn to read and write more effectively, and I'd highly recommend philosophy courses for that reason. My major in philosophy has vastly helped me develop my skills to read, write, and critically think. I think these skills gave me a leg up on the LSAT, and I think they will (hopefully) give me a leg up in law school. And philosophy is a lot of fun to study! But these law classes are not going to teach you anything substantive that you'll need to know for the test. For that reason, I would just pick one that you will do well in, that you like the professor who is teaching it, and one that interests you.

PS. I would highly recommend a logic class, if your philosophy dept. offers one. This will actually teach you skills needed for the test (contrapositives, analyzing arguments, etc.) But the ones you mentioned will not give you a substantial leg up for the LSAT.

the lantern
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:47 am

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby the lantern » Fri May 07, 2010 12:20 am

I am taking formal logic now (in my last quarter of undergrad) and I wish I would have taken it before the LSAT. I would have done a perfect on the logic sections no doubt.

User avatar
F458JE
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:40 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby F458JE » Fri May 07, 2010 1:30 pm

Do not bother taking a Propositional Logic class, they are a complete waste of time.

the lantern
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:47 am

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby the lantern » Fri May 07, 2010 1:48 pm

F458JE wrote:Do not bother taking a Propositional Logic class, they are a complete waste of time.


The only questions I had trouble with on the LR section were the pattern of reasoning ones. Propositional Logic/Formal logic has taught me how to do these perfectly. It sure is a lot of trouble to go to, but formal logic met a graduation requirement for me (took it instead of calculus) so it was worth it. Plus, it will help you with your writing because it teaches you how to form arguments rationally.

User avatar
NU_Jet55
Posts: 977
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:54 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby NU_Jet55 » Fri May 07, 2010 1:50 pm

The logic class I took in undergrad prepared me for the LSAT better than any other class I took. Period.

User avatar
agentzer0
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby agentzer0 » Fri May 07, 2010 1:54 pm

the only Philosophy classes that will help you on the LSAT are Symbolic Logic and/or Critical Thinking. And they will help you a lot.

Outside of those classes; Math.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby tomwatts » Fri May 07, 2010 1:56 pm

DGLitcH wrote:I am not of background in arts, so all of the philosophy courses are new to me. I'm not sure if intro to philosophy would be better or something like 17-18th Century philosophy that has more focus

You probably want an intro before you do anything else.

And while the LSAT is not testing any particular content area, it can be helpful to get accustomed to reading about certain topics. If you never read about, say, morality/ethics, and then you come across a morality/ethics passage on the LSAT, it can be a little disorienting. Of course, all you need are strong reading skills and the willingness to attack the passage and questions, but it can help to have a little bit of context. So there's nothing wrong with taking a few classes in areas that you don't normally study in order to practice reading those sorts of things.

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby Emma. » Fri May 07, 2010 2:57 pm

idiothek wrote:none of those help. remember: lsat is not content based. just do your reading for whatever classes you were gonna take anyway and make sure you keep that gpa up :wink:

however, i would suggest these types of courses:

intro to critical thinking/intro to argumentation

symbolic logic/formal logic/mathematical logic


idiothek!! Long time no see.

What's up man? Did you apply to schools this cycle?

User avatar
idiothek
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:18 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby idiothek » Fri May 07, 2010 6:54 pm

emrose wrote:
idiothek wrote:none of those help. remember: lsat is not content based. just do your reading for whatever classes you were gonna take anyway and make sure you keep that gpa up :wink:

however, i would suggest these types of courses:

intro to critical thinking/intro to argumentation

symbolic logic/formal logic/mathematical logic


idiothek!! Long time no see.

What's up man? Did you apply to schools this cycle?


hey em! yep, it's dook for me! (unless i somehow get off the columbia waitlist)

User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby Emma. » Tue May 11, 2010 2:26 pm

idiothek wrote:
emrose wrote:
idiothek wrote:none of those help. remember: lsat is not content based. just do your reading for whatever classes you were gonna take anyway and make sure you keep that gpa up :wink:

however, i would suggest these types of courses:

intro to critical thinking/intro to argumentation

symbolic logic/formal logic/mathematical logic


idiothek!! Long time no see.

What's up man? Did you apply to schools this cycle?


hey em! yep, it's dook for me! (unless i somehow get off the columbia waitlist)


Congrats man!

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby kittenmittons » Tue May 11, 2010 2:29 pm

Lawl @ philosophy being useful for anything

tsub
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:36 am

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby tsub » Tue May 11, 2010 2:33 pm

tomwatts wrote:
DGLitcH wrote:I am not of background in arts, so all of the philosophy courses are new to me. I'm not sure if intro to philosophy would be better or something like 17-18th Century philosophy that has more focus

You probably want an intro before you do anything else.

And while the LSAT is not testing any particular content area, it can be helpful to get accustomed to reading about certain topics. If you never read about, say, morality/ethics, and then you come across a morality/ethics passage on the LSAT, it can be a little disorienting. Of course, all you need are strong reading skills and the willingness to attack the passage and questions, but it can help to have a little bit of context. So there's nothing wrong with taking a few classes in areas that you don't normally study in order to practice reading those sorts of things.


I agree with this. The intro class will teach you how to read philosophy texts and analyze them. The professor will also hold your hand a little bit more when it comes to extracting reasoning or outlining the argument. I think the 17th-18th century class would be great as a follow up if you want to get into the meat of "modern" philosophy (isn't it funny that everything in the last 400 years "modern? At least it was at my school).

In terms of LSAT prep, it will be helpful just to be reading incredibly dense stuff. In some classes, I had only 10 pages of assigned reading in texts by Spinoza/Kant etc. but it took me longer to read and process than 60 pages of econ reading. Good luck with your class selection!

User avatar
r2b2ct
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:33 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby r2b2ct » Wed May 12, 2010 5:05 pm

Take the intro class. It will probably go over basic symbolic logic and informal logic. These are both helpful for the LSAT. The other classes will probably be more content-oriented. If your school offers logic or critical thinking/reasoning courses you should go for one of those.

User avatar
ihatelaw
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:26 pm

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby ihatelaw » Wed May 12, 2010 5:09 pm

Logic is the only one that will help you directly, but all of them will be helpful "indirectly" in that they will force you to read complicated material, think analytically, and sometimes readings will sound like LSAT questions.


However....political/legal/moral philosophy + econ + rat choice theory will be helpful for law school, especially in torts and crim.

APimpNamedSlickback
Posts: 1126
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Any of these philosophy courses useful for the LSAT?

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Wed May 12, 2010 5:16 pm

symbolic logic




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cherrygalore, comicbookdude, Instrumental, MSNbot Media, njames1961, Pozzo and 10 guests