Why should we follow laws? Summer Scholar Andrew Miles (’13) explains social contract theory

by roanokecollege on October 1, 2013

Andrew Miles (’15) is a double major in History and Philosophy and his research project combined Social Contract Theory and Game Theory. His project asked the question “Why should a person cooperate with societal laws and norms?” He approached this to show that cooperating with society is not only a moral choice, but one that can be beneficial to the person asking the question as well.

“Specifically, my research compares the pros and cons of living in a contractual society—one where everybody agrees to follows the laws—to a society without any central government or laws and finds that cooperation is better achieved within a contractual system than without it.”

Andrew feels that Summer Scholars is an awesome program and getting to work one on one with a professor is extremely helpful. Andrew’s faculty mentor for his project was Dr. Ned Wisnefske.

“All the summer scholars were passionate about their projects and we became a close-knit family by the end of the summer. Summer Scholars is a fantastic program that allows students to do professional research in a great environment.”

Andrew Miles & Dr. Ned Wisnefske

Andrew Miles & Dr. Ned Wisnefske

For students considering research opportunities, Andrew says

“don’t be afraid to be ambitious. If you are passionate about something, then go for it. Don’t ever try to stay within your limits; research is about broadening them. Start large, embrace your mistakes, and keep going. There is always something else to discover.”

Currently Andrew works as a tutor in the Writing Center and as a Maroon Ambassador. He is also the student leader for the newly established RC Alternatives

“hosting events to allow students another way to have fun and find new people to hang out with on campus.”


Mark your calendars for our next on-campus presentation opportunities:

Showcase on Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6-8pm in Fintel Library focused on service-learning, internships, and study abroad. Apply to present by November 8.

Showcase on Friday, November 22, 2013 from 6-8pm in Fintel Library focused on research and artistic/creative work. Apply to present by November 8.

For updated information on student-faculty research:

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