Why do students need to write essays in Philosophy?
In one sense, of course, [students] don't need to write essays, exactly; it's rather that you can't learn Philosophy without learning to think clearly about ideas. And you can't learn to think clearly about ideas without writing and without learning the meanings of the claims that you make and that's a skill that takes a long time to develop. So there's a certain sense in which philosophy as a subject is a kind of a literacy skill in its own right. It's thinking clearly about ideas when your ideas are directed at the truth rather than, let's say, winning arguments or something like that, which would be a different subject.