The purpose of the dissertation is thus to outline the proofs of why the author disagrees with other philosophers or the general opinion.
The word "dissertation" can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree.
The term "thesis" is also used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work.
For Aristotle, a thesis would therefore be a supposition that is stated in contradiction with general opinion or express disagreement with other philosophers (104b33-35).
A supposition is a statement or opinion that may or may not be true depending on the evidence and/or proof that is offered (152b32).
Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis.
"A 'thesis' is a supposition of some eminent philosopher that conflicts with the general opinion..to take notice when any ordinary person expresses views contrary to men's usual opinions would be silly".
At most universities, the committee is chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her primary adviser, usually after completion of the comprehensive examinations or prospectus meeting, and may consist of members of the comps committee.
The committee members are doctors in their field (whether a Ph D or other designation) and have the task of reading the dissertation, making suggestions for changes and improvements, and sitting in on the defense.
In addition to institution-specific house styles, there exist a number of field-specific, national, and international standards and recommendations for the presentation of theses, for instance ISO 7144.
Other applicable international standards include ISO 2145 on section numbers, ISO 690 on bibliographic references, and ISO 31 on quantities or units.