Argument Reconstruction Assignment

Description: This assignment will require you to successfully reconstruct the main moral argument of a philosophy article, identify the moral theory that this argument most closely approximates, and offer your own evaluation of the author’s argument that you have reconstructed.



· Article: “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” by Peter Singer (posted on MyCourses in the Content section under “Assignments”)

· Format: Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, Normal (default) margins

· Labeling: Please put your name and course number at the top of your assignment as in the header above.

· Due Date: Submitted on Dropbox by November 23, 2019 by 11:59 PM.


1. Reconstruct Singer’s main moral argument within the article in standard form. There are many supporting arguments and clarifications made in the article, so you need to read it carefully and determine what Singer’s overall main conclusion is (his thesis) and the key premises he uses to support his thesis.

2. Categorize Singer’s argument in terms of one of the ethical theories we have studied (ex: egoism, social contract theory, utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, etc.) Be sure to use evidence from the article to support your answer and document wherever you use ideas or information from the article. For example, if you use a direct quotation (or paraphrase) from the article, you should document it in the following way (paragraph [para.] #, page #). Also, make sure you explain how this evidence from the text supports your claim about which ethical theory Singer’s argument most naturally can be classified as. Do not leave evidence from the article to stand alone and expect me to make the key connections between this evidence and your claim about which ethical theory Singer’s argument exemplifies.

3. Evaluate Singer’s argument. Do you believe it is valid? Sound? Strong? Cogent? Provide a detailed argument supporting your view. This means you must make a claim regarding whether Singer is presenting a good argument and defend this claim through the use of supporting reasons. For example, if you do not believe that Singer’s argument is valid you need to identify what aspect of Singer’s logic is defective in his main argument and what you think the problem is with his reasoning. Here you may be a little creative in how you argue for or against evaluative claims regarding Singer’s argument.

4. You should answer these questions in a numbered list according to the number of each task as described above. DO NOT structure your answers in the form of an essay.