Time to Research for Real

For my Project II I will be revamping an old philosophy paper into a substantive work I hope to publish in one of the many undergraduate journals of philosophy nationwide. While I had done some research for the initial paper, it is time for me to research for real, considering my aim is to turn this 8 page paper into about 20.

Thus far I have stumbled upon a variety of sources I think may help me. First, I decided to look more into what the genre conventions for undergraduate philosophy journals are. I looked to The Dualist, Stanford’s journal, as well as a few others. General knowledge gained from this research included typical page length, citation style, and other formatting normalities. After noting all of this, I decided to begin finding source material for the body of the paper itself.

My paper is going to be discussing Science, Truth, and Democracy by Philip Kitcher. In short, this book is a look into science and objectivity, proposing that moral and social values are in fact intrinsic to the sciences opposed to popular belief that science is completely value-free. Kitcher then proposes a notion of “Well-Ordered Science” (WOS) as he calls it, which is ultimately a model for scientists to follow so as to follow the best possible method of scientific inquiry. All of this sounds great, right? Well, there are some problems. Kitcher begins his book by disposing of the possibility of scientific unity and purity. He claims that there are no such things. However, his notion of WOS later depends on notions of scientific unity and purity, or so I will argue.

In order to successfully break-down Kitcher’s argument and formulate my own, I will need ample support from outside sources. While my brain has the basics worked out, I wouldn’t be opposed to some help. So, I found a few articles that present similar objections to Kitcher’s view, namely one by the well known philosopher of science Helen E. Longino. The article, “Science and the Common Good: Thoughts on Philip Kitcher’s Science, Truth, and Democracy,” presents possible problems in Kitcher’s view as well as praise for it. I found the article to be a great piece of literature that I hope can help me better hone my view and support it. If anyone is interested, I have attached it below, though it is fairly dense and requires some background knowledge in the subject, such as of Kitcher’s book, so I do not expect anyone to really read it. If you’d like to give it a skim, however, here it is!


5 thoughts to “Time to Research for Real”

  1. Hi Danielle,

    Wow, your paper sounds extremely interesting! I do not know anything about Philip Kitcher’s piece so I am very excited to learn about it. How many outside sources are you looking to compile?

    I am very excited to see how you paper evolves. It would be great to read the original and then the final. I look forward to working with you on this project!



    1. Hi Chloe! I have tons of sources to compile right now, but I actually am trying to limit the number of sources I use because I am worried I may be trying to take on too much in such a short paper. My goal is specificity opposed to breadth.

  2. I’m really impressed that you’ve already figured out your complicating evidence for your argument! I think it was a really good idea to look at the physical formatting conventions of different journals, because that’s often what makes a project the type of project it is. This project II sounds like the perfect way to finish what you started with this research paper: it’ll give you space and time to expand on these already-researched ideas, and practice a more “official” format. I’m wondering how it will be an evolution of your original paper– is there going to be a shift in format, or will it just be an elaboration of what you already have?

    1. Hi Alex! There is going to be a shift in format as well as an elaboration on what I already have. The shift in format will mainly result from having to include an abstract and more general introduction. I also will be breaking down my argument into specific subheadings, and then elaborating further on the arguments I presented in the original paper. In short, it will just be more specific.

  3. Hi Danielle,
    I cannot wait to see where your project finds its home! It sounds like you’ve made a good amount of progress in your research, both looking at other journal entires as well as supporting information for your paper. Also, its great that you’re so excited about the subject of your paper as well as trying to get it published! Although I don’t have much background information on your topic or about philosophy in general, your topic is very relevant to a lot of people, so I will definitely be interested in getting familiar with your work.

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