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Help please! Philosophy EE: Genetically Modified Organisms

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I'm going to be starting on my EE very soon (after I finish my TOK essay in a day or a couple)

I'm planning to do an Philosophy extended essay on the use of GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms.

(Basically organisms that have their genetic makeup altered through the use of genetic engineering, to give them different traits)

For a better understanding plz google.

I had originally planned to discuss the question: To what extent should GMOs be developed and used in society?

But now I'm beginning to start having second thoughts since my ideas don't seem very "philosophical" according to the rubric. (Yes I have checked it before)

It seemed too much like a "TOK presentation" on paper,(is that what its supposed to be?) and doesn't utilize too many philosophical terms

The ideas I had in mind were to discuss the benefits and harmful effects of GMOs utilizing the following points of view for both benefits and harmful effects.

  • Ecological/Environmental
  • Economical
  • Ethical/Health Issues
  • Psychological/Aesthetical

For the record there are a LOT of ecological and economical implications, so I would probably be selecting some of them only so that it doesn't go overboard 4000 words.

I don't think my research question is appropriate for a philosophy EE, is there any way I can adjust it to make it better?

In short, what would you suggest to be a valid, "philosophical" and "EE-Level Appropriate" question that the one above?

I still wish to discuss the ecological, economical, and ethical implications of GMOs though.

Also, if any, are there examples of scientific results or interviews I should use?

Any and all helpful suggestions are welcomed.

Thank you all in advance!

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As you correctly identified, this is not a Philosophy topic :P

It could perhaps be a TOK presentation, but I'd steer wellll away from this for an EE (or a Philosophy essay of any sort, actually).

Philosophy is about a process of logical, analytical thinking and applying theories and ways of thought to particular problems. It's not about expressing opinions or making judgements from information, which is basically what you're proposing. Saying "this is good and this is bad" will go down very badly.

The only way to make this into an acceptable EE topic is to find some kind of Philosophical field of thought and somehow boil the idea of GMOs back to some fundamental idea, with GMO's representing something - mankind's interference with natural order perhaps - and then find various Philosophical theories which address this issue of natural order and investigate analytically how compatible GMOs are with both these theories (or more if you have more).

Good and bad effects of GMOs = a direction you ought to abandon as rapidly as possible I'm afraid! :P

Also if you don't take Philosophy as a subject for the IB I would strongly advise you write your EE in a different subject area. Not because it's impossible to do unless you've studied it or anything, but because the probability of taking completely the wrong angle on questions and meandering away from analysis into opinion/judgement type questions is extremely high! Even for somebody who does take it and knows to avoid those things! One of the biggest pains about the EE is that what particular subjects require for their subject area is very specific. If you write a good essay but fail to write correctly within the bounds of that subject, you don't just get penalised a little bit - your whole essay is wrong!

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Ahhhhhhhh! Thank you for showing me the light!

Well it's kind of too late to change the topic now :sadnod: (I'm a mess. Sigh....., should have done ethics instead),

though I still found the concept itself quite intriguing.

I guess the best option is to try and mellow this down to presenting different philosophical theories, and discussing the ultimate fate of GMOs according to their beliefs?

Doing a bit of research, I'm now considering talking about GMOs as a way of interfering with nature/Man playing God kind of idea.

Would the following (philosophical) theories be adequate to talk about?

Utilitarianism

Kantianism

Naturalism

Epistemology? (For discussing economical implications?)

Are they any more you wish to suggest?

The way I plan that these theories could (could they?) work in terms of arguments and counter arguments are

Utilitarianism vs. Kantianism

Naturalism vs. Naturalism

Economical views vs. Epistemology

Do they seem valid?

Really needing help at the moment. :(

Thanks everyone in advance!

Edited by Bad Boys of Boston

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.

Try to ask your teachers if you can change again because people take philosophy as an extended essay because they assume it's easy when they do not have the correct technique.

However, I'd personally recommend keeping away from the use of God in general because you can write loads on it (you'd need to define what playing God actually means, really easy to get distracted on). God for me generally is too broad.

You could argue something along the lines of whether we actually have a human nature - research satre.

You'd need to make it a lot more concise though, good luck !

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Doing a bit of research, I'm now considering talking about GMOs as a way of interfering with nature/Man playing God kind of idea.

Would the following (philosophical) theories be adequate to talk about?

Utilitarianism

Kantianism

Naturalism

Epistemology? (For discussing economical implications?)

Are they any more you wish to suggest?

The way I plan that these theories could (could they?) work in terms of arguments and counter arguments are

Utilitarianism vs. Kantianism

Naturalism vs. Naturalism

Economical views vs. Epistemology

Do they seem valid?

I have no idea how on earth you could use Utilitarianism to consider GMOs affecting natural order, or Kantianism for that matter. For a start neither of those theories have anything to do with natural order! If you are going to write about natural order you have to have an actual reason for it - you have to start by PROVING logically and analytically that GMO is an interference with natural order. Otherwise you start with a massive assumption which makes your whole essay a bit of a joke.

To be honest you could probably do a whole essay just on that.

Epistemology I can't connect, economical views is an Economics essay and nothing to do with Philosophy and I'm not actually sure what Naturalism is.

I suggest you google 50 Excellent Extended Essays and look to see the Philosophy ones so you understand exactly what level of thought and approach is required. They hold them to very high standards and hopefully it'll explain what I don't think I quite can which is more or less that if you think all good essays have to be logical and analytical in any subject, that Philosophy is like the study of things being logical and analytical USING logic and analysis. If that makes any sense. Basically I don't think you really understand what is required, so definitely check out those exemplar essays, then maybe you will.

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