Prompt 06: Reading for the Conversation (Cont’d)
Purpose: Today we continue working on “reading for the conversation” (review prompt 05 to refresh your memory). In this assignment, you will examine how Warren enters the conversation between Regan and Singer and adds her own point of view. You will attempt to take the perspective of either Regan or Singer and respond.
Word Count: The best posts will be about 500 words long.
Before You Write
Out of all the prompts so far, this one most involves potentially putting your personal perspective to the side. Here, you will engage with the conversation between Singer, Regan, and Warren and take on the side of one of the writers.
To do this, you should think about different ways to respond to a position. Graff and Birkenstein claim there are three ways to respond: Yes; No; or Okay, but (2010, 55-67). Read Warren’s text with an eye towards how she is responding:
- Is she agreeing completely with Regan?
- Is she disagreeing completely?
- Is she accepting part of what Regan claims?
- Which of these three ways of responding best represents Warren’s position in relation to Regan.
Perhaps more importantly, think about how Warren fits into the overall conversation between Singer and Regan:
- Does she agree with Singer or Regan more? Why do you think this?
- Is Warren clearly a utilitarian or deontologist?
- Why does Warren think that Regan’s argument is weak?
- Is there part of Warren’s argument that applies to Singer’s argument?
When you are done reading, think about your answers to these questions. Choose a paragraph that interests you from the reading.
At the top of your post give the paragraph you will be focusing on by citing author, page #, and paragraph #. For example (and at random), if I choose the paragraph on page 87 that begins “There are some who resist . . . ,” I would write: (Singer, 87, 1st full paragraph). If I choose the paragraph on page 86 that begins “But attempts to limit . . . ,” I would write: (Singer, 86, 6th paragraph). Start the paragraph numbering with the first full paragraph on the page.
With your chosen paragraph in mind, choose one topic below to write on:
- If the paragraph directly critiques a concept used or claim made by Regan, summarize Warren’s critique (briefly). Imagine how Regan would respond to Warren’s critique and write a response in defense of Regan’s position. Keep in mind the three potential responses: Yes; No; or Okay, but.
- If the paragraph can be read as a critique of Singer, summarize Warren’s critique (briefly). Imagine how Singer would respond to Warren’s critique and write a response in defense of Singer’s position. Keep in mind the three potential responses: Yes; No; or Okay, but.
- If the paragraph can be read as support of Singer, summarize that support and explain how it might help Singer respond to Regan’s criticisms from yesterday’s prompt. Keep in mind the three potential responses: Yes; No; or Okay, but.
When writing your response, always remember the principle of charity: present the best possible argument for the “opposing side” in order to strengthen your response.
Please Note: Don’t stop! Continue on to the exam question assignment.
For this assignment, write four points worth of questions.
The full instructions for these assignments are here.
When you are finished, email (do not post) the questions to the instructor.