The Singer Solution to World Poverty Peter Singer The New York Times Magazine, 1999
Read this article and answer the following questions:
1) What philosophy does the author say drives his belief system? Explain what this philosophy is according to
this text and/or your own research.
2) What is the author’s main argument in the essay? What position does he take, and what does he propose?
(State in clear sentences).
3) Make a short list of the strategies and types of evidence the author uses to support his claims in attempt to
make a persuasive argument. Which do you find to be effective support? Weak support? Do you detect any
logical fallacies? Reference at least 2 quotes from the piece.
4) How do you describe the author’s tone? Do you think this is a help or hindrance to his persuasion?
5) Make a pros and cons list for the type of society the author proposes, in which wealth is more “equally”
distributed among common citizens. You may want to do some research about communist and socialist
societies — the benefits and the drawbacks.
6) Do you agree or disagree with the author’s argument? Or agree with one part of the argument but not the
other? Do your best to support your position.
7) Consider when the piece was published and find one fact or assertion in the essay that you believe is worth
checking/updating. Do a little research to update or verify something you found questionable. Please reference
8) What connections can you make between the Sandel lecture and the Singer essay? Can you describe how
viewing this lecture may have affected your reading and interpretation of the Singer essay?
9) How did you react when you first read this piece, and why do you think you reacted that way? Whether you
agree or not with Singer’s argument, has this essay compelled you to take a glimpse into your own
consumption habits? Or your own charitable contributions or deeds? Please explain.
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