Midterm topic

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There are three essay topics about the IAH 206 Class. Each topic requires around 350 words.


First, describe and explain Singer’s overall argument for the claim that we have a very (surprisingly) large obligation to give to the global poor. Second, write a paragraph where you give the best reasons you can in favor of Singer’s argument and conclusion. Third, write another paragraph in which you give the best reasons you can against Singer’s argument and conclusion.


An important theme of the course has been different views about what the cause of famines is. Write an essay in which you explain the issues surrounding those views here. In particular, make sure you explain why it can be difficult to make such an assessment, why there is controversy about what the cause is of a given famine (or of famines in general), or why we tend to think about it in certain ways. Also, explain why this is important to acknowledge.


It is widely agreed that it is important to promote the “sustainability” of our agricultural practices, but there are questions about how this sustainability should be conceptualized and measured. Describe and explain the main differing conceptions of sustainability here, and explain why which one we focus on is important. In particular, clarify how it has an impact on what counts as sustainable, as well as how it has an impact on what questions we ask about an agricultural practice.

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