Online Assignment On Global Poverty



Required Viewing: Thomas Pogge, "We Are All in the Soup?"

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Required Work:

1. Explain Pogge's notion of an "Inequality Spiral". What causes such spirals, on his view?

2. Why is Pogge pessimistic about the ability of moral arguments by themselves to effect structural changes at the international level for alleviating poverty and runaway inequality?

3. What strategy does Pogge prefer for addressing these problems?


Required Viewing: Jacqueline Novogratz, "A Third Way to Think About Aid"

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Philosopher Thomas Pogge's diagnosis of the causes of global poverty is structural in nature. In other words, he thinks that global poverty is a by-product of institutions and practices that exist at a global level. Seemingly paradoxically, Jacqueline Novogratz's proposal for aid to the world's poorest people turns on seeing the problem from the point of view of the poor people themselves. For all that, it can also be seen as similar to Pogge's recommendation in some ways. Think about both of these talks, and answer the fourth and final question of this assignment:

4. Though both agree on the moral importance of addressing global poverty, both Pogge and Novogratz hold that one key to addressing the problem of global poverty is to arrange things so that the solutions on the ground are not just morally good, but that are in the best interest of the people and corporations working on projects attacking poverty. What do you think about this approach? Is it appropriate to mingle self-interested (e.g. profit) motives and moral motives in this way, OR are these sorts of projects too much of a compromise with a global economic system that needs deeper changes? Why?

Your answer to this last question should be 250-500 words in length. Give your own opinion, but try to base your answer on what you take to be the case from an objective point of view rather than on pop-psychology or personal narrative. Support your answer with clear, concise reasons.

This assignment is due to the instructor by midnight, tomorrow night, April 26, 2016, via Marygrove email (ude.evorgyram|nosrettaps#ude.evorgyram|nosrettaps). Late assignments will not be accepted for any reason. This is a credit/no credit assignment. See the assignments section of the syllabus if you don't know or have forgotten what this means.

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