writer, editor, girl of the creative persuasion.
never thought about it, i suppose it depends on the class/syllabus/subject matter. usually when it comes to (writing) philosophy i find it easier not to argue “for” a thesis, but rather juxtapose with it the relevant opposition to determine the stability of the original claim or idea. so like presenting counterargument/evidence a, b, c and then either maintaining that thesis holds in spite of it, or conceding that it doesn’t (or both), then reiterating the ‘final’ verdict. if I’m speaking i do the same thing, i am always searching for an antithesis. to me the ‘interesting’ aspect of questions like ‘is killing always morally unjustifiable?’ is not about how well the matter can be defended but more about what is revealed when we cannot, as in exceptions where killing might indeed be morally justifiable. then you can zoom in the details. or something like ‘do moral facts exist?’, i could say yes and give good reasons why i veer toward the affirmative, but saying ‘no’ forces me to think about what it really is about an idea that gives it veracity, what makes it convincing, what makes me doubt it, what separates and distinguishes things. that’s the crude summary of it i guess, it’s not simple or black-and-white but personally helps me engage. does this suffice as an answer to your question? what do you fellow philosophers do? i’m curious
One of the things that always frustrated me—because my roots are as an illustrator and I’ve spent much of the last year doing work around Occupy Wall Street—was the idea that if art was somehow engaged in the outside world in any way, it became no longer art. To me, that detaches art, sterilizes it, locks it up in a white-wall gallery and makes it just a commodity for rich people. I was more moved when I saw people holding my art as protest signs or re-pasting it in squats than I was in any gallery show I’ve ever had, because my art was becoming more a part of every day life.