Dissertation Draft One Completed

 Posted by on 2 March 2009 at 6:30 pm  Dissertation
Mar 022009

I am delighted to report that last night I finished the first draft of my dissertation in its entirety. It took 1 year, 2 months, and 2 days of consistent and often grueling work to complete. It is 10 chapters, 287 pages, and 84,874 words long. Yowza!

And here it is, in the flesh:

Here are the chapters:

  • Chapter 01: The Problem of Moral Luck (18 pages, 5200 words)
  • Chapter 02: Attempted Solutions (50 pages, 14435 words)
  • Chapter 03: Nagel on Control (19 pages, 5249 words)
  • Chapter 04: Moral Judgment (23 pages, 7286 words)
  • Chapter 05: Moral Responsibility for Actions (44 pages, 12897 words)
  • Chapter 06: Circumstantial Moral Luck (19 pages, 5551 words)
  • Chapter 07: Responsibility for Outcomes (24 pages, 7233 words)
  • Chapter 08: Resultant Moral Luck (36 pages, 10967 words)
  • Chapter 09: Responsibility for Character (20 pages, 5866 words)
  • Chapter 10: Constitutive Moral Luck (34 pages, 10190 words)

I’m very, very happy to have reached this milestone. It has been hard going since I returned to teaching in January, as the commute to Boulder three times per week just saps me of mental strength. These past few weeks have been nearly unbearable.

Moreover, I’m very happy with the quality of work I’ve done. While academic projects often narrow down to little of interest over time, I managed to complete the whole grand project that I aimed to do. By drawing on and developing Aristotle’s theory of moral responsibility, I have solved the problem of moral luck in all its various forms. In the process, I’ve made some rather fascinating discoveries about moral responsibility, moral judgment, and moral character.

However, my work is not yet done. I have two major rounds of editing to left to do. I will be doing substantial revisions for a second draft — not just in response to feedback from my advisor and committee but also based on my own better understanding of the issues. After that, I will do another round of minor edits.

Unfortunately, the writing has required more time than I hoped. I will not be done with the editing in time to defend in early April and graduate in May, as I’d hoped to do. However, I expect to be able to defend in May, then officially graduate in August. (If I defend in May, as opposed to at some later point in the summer, I won’t need to pay summer tuition.) I’m not delighted with that new schedule, but I can live with it.

Frankly, I’m amazed by all that I’ve done. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

Oh, and to answer the inevitable question: I might not make the final version of the dissertation freely available on the web, as I’m seriously considering editing it for publication as a book. However, I will make it available to anyone who cares enough to e-mail me about it.

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