Update on Summer Research Project: An Evolutionary Objection to Ethical Objectivism

So, I ended up not updating this despite working on the project for about a whole other month than necessary! I did not work eight hour days each day, but I do think I’ve logged more hours than technically required.

For the first week I focused on reading and annotating. The second week, I revised my initial outline as I worked on summarizing theĀ  scientific literature I had been reading. I also wrote really bad philosophical arguments. They were necessary to get to what I have now, but I will not share them with anyone. By the third week, I had a good amount of scientific research summarized and integrated, but decided needed more to properly defend my premises. I read more articles, this time trying to write/summarize as I wrote. By the fourth week, I was concerned because I still wasn’t fully done with the science section and I anticipated the philosophy also taking a long time. However, the last part of my research was very easy to translate for my paper.

The philosophy section required much less time than I anticipated and I was able to email my professor my 11,600 word first draft. He took the remainder of the week to read the essay. This last week we have discussed the necessary changes over the phone and I have worked on editing and revising.

I’ve learned a lot from this project, not simply about the evolution of morality, but also about what an independent research project actually looks like. I’ve also learned how to better structure a long philosophical paper. I would greatly recommend this project to anyone interested in studying any topic in great depth!

I hope it is alright that I will spare you from the details of the actual research! For the sake of brevity, I have relied on J.L. Mackie’s arguments for Error Theory, and my evolutionary objection has come to supplement his philosophy and I’ve read a variety of different scientific authors like Panksepp, Hall, Brosnan, Liao, Churchland, and Lieberman. I’ve also read up on philosophers like R.M. Hare, before realizing I had never intended to directly object to their particular theories, simply ethical objectivism as a whole.