Posted by d on December 09, 2002 at 23:28:02:
In Reply to: architectural essay posted by Janice on December 09, 2002 at 19:03:40:
You might find it helpful to go back to the earliest forms of logical reasoning, such as the ancient Greeks might have used,
For instance, you are required to form "a reasoned opinion" about a statement: "...architecture ..symbol of society is expressed through the art and technology of its time."
One way to develop a thought, or, more accurately to find out, or even remember(!) what you think about this statement , is to consider its negation, and show that this leads to a contradiction:
If you think you agree with the statement, you might start out:
" It is true that architecture, a symbol of society, is expressed through the art and technology of its time; for if it were not true, then..." and show that this leads to an impossibility or an unrealistic description of society.
Or, as a second approach, you might try to "translate" some of the statement: let's say, for instance, that you feel that the phrase " is expressed through" is basically an equivalence; the statement, then, says " architectural symbols of society are the same as its art and technology " or, reversing the order, as one might do in a math equation: " Art and technology are the architectural symbols of society." Then this new statement becomes what you will disprove or prove.
Thirdly, let's say you feel confused by the statement. Looking at it, you are especially puzzled by one word or phrase, say "..is expressed through..." Again, taking a "math-like" approach, this phrase is "what you don't know": in essence, the "unknown". But in the same way you can solve for "X' in an equation, you can "solve" the meaning in this statement. This is done as in math, by separating out the phrase and interpreting it in the remaining context of the statement. Your opening sentence might read: " What mode of expression allows architecture to express the symbols of society through art and technology? " You might then go on to discuss how, say, the "form language" is or is not suited to representing social symbolism.
The point is that you are given a statement to interpret; it is now yours to modify, reduce or extend so long as you keep the basic meaning, exactly as a mathematical equation might be simplified in order to study it more clearly. And in doing so, you will be keeping your essay more on the logical or theoretical plane which your professor has requested.
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