Here we expect students to grasp the meaning of philosophical concepts, propositions and texts. What constitutes successful interpretation is a contentious issue, but for the purposes of this study, I shall assume that there is agreement as to what would constitute an inept interpretation on the one hand, and a valid (though not necessarily merely for that reason acceptable) interpretation on the other. I take it that such agreement would include the following points: Interpretations should be coherent in that they should not contain inconsistencies or contradictions. Interpretations should be cogent in that they should account for as much of the text as possible within a unified framework. Interpretations should be informed by an understanding of the historical tradition in which the text is embedded and the meanings of concepts and terms as specified within that tradition. As a minimum, this should include some knowledge of history of ideas in philosophy.

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