INITIAL PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENTS
Starting off through the middle of these holidays I tried to reconcile my topic as much as possible and wrestle with every aspect to see what I enjoyed most and determine what I should focus on predominantly during for my actual essay.
To do this correctly i set out a mind map of every main philosophical concept associated with Meta-ethics and my related question as to whether or not there are objective moral truths. Overall from my readings I have gathered that there are two main umbrella terms that encapsulate each branch of this topic being Cognitivism and Non-Cognitivism (See page 2). Although I was still questioning whether or not I had enough space to include aspects from each of these points or just to focus on one throughout my essay.
(Cognitivism - Moral claims describe our reality)
(Non-Cognitivism - Moral claims are not descriing our reality)
Further Readings & Discoveries
Through reading my main first assigned pieces (The Elements of Moral Philosophy - James Rachels) (Discovering Right & Wrong - Louis Pojmam) I sought to broaden some of my readings by doing some more research to learn more about each aspect of every argument from everyside. These Included Sam Harris' The Moral Landscape in which he lays out a Cognitivist-Moral Objectivist-Naturalist argument (I'm going to have to find more concise terms for these names), Russ Shafer-Landau's Moral Realism: A Defence & What Happened to Good and Evil, as well as Andrew Fischer's Meta-Ethics an Introduction. Each of these pieces provided me with an ample amount of research and knowledge going into my essay now that I can confidently say I understand each argument for each seperate perspective on the issue.
Introduction of EE & Plot Out of Essay
For the sake of narrowing it down I have decided to form my essay around the Cognitivist side of the issue as there is ample enough space for discussion for 4000 words but i think also including the Non-Cognitivist perspectives on the issue would not only clutter the layout of the essay but most likely tip the scale for what i could mention in this essay without skimming over or missing detail to stay in the confines of the word limit.
I've already begun work in formulating a working EE introduction that works well to encapsulate what I'm going to talk about in a concise matter. My plot out of the essay itself however goes as follows:
1.) Definition of terms such as "good/bad," "moral/immoral," etc.
2.) Statment of personal position and argument on the question
3.) Analysis of Relativism and some of its proponents
3i.) Cultural Relativism
3ii.) Agent and Speaker Relativism
4.) Criticisms and Rebuttals of each part in relation to own argument
5.) Analaysis of Moral Realism/Objectivism and it's proponents
6.) Criticisms and Rebuttals of each part in relation to own argument
7.) Conclusion and final statment on question