criticism and analysis

Part II: Criticism & Analysis

Two 600-word analyses and criticisms of the arguments from your first essays (1200 words total): (i) a 600-word analysis and criticism of the arguments in your pro-side essay, and (ii) a 600-word analysis and criticism of your con-side essay. You must choose, at least, one additional source in each response from the list of articles I provide.

Again, you are NOT taking a position on the issue at this stage. You are objectively analyzing and criticizing both sets of arguments that you discussed. You want to discuss the strengths of each set of arguments and their weaknesses. Your analysis and criticism of each set of arguments will be a mixture of your own assessment of the arguments, but you should show familiarity with (and directly reference) (i) the articles I provided, (ii) readings from the textbook or videos from the discussion boards, and (iii) MY LECTURES. I want to know that you are engaging with the material from this class! Do not simply give a bunch of uninformed opinions on the topics.

Tips:

  • Refer back to the suggestions in part one.
  • Remain objective and dispassionate; you are not taking a side yet. You are treating each side of the argument respectfully and trying your best to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each

Grading Criteria (50 points, 25 points each):

I am always happy to discuss the grade you earned on your work. The following is a set of general considerations and guidelines I use for assigning grades.

22.5 – 25 points: Excellent Essay
20 – 22.49 points: Above-Average Essay
17.5 – 19.99 points: Good Essay
15 – 17.49 points: Needs Work
0 – 14.99 points: Serious Problems with the Essay

An excellent essay …

is the assigned word limit (neither longer nor shorter)

is free from grammatical and spelling errors

is well-organized and easy to follow

is scholarly in tone and style (objective and dispassionate)

clearly and correctly analyzes all major and significant premises and conclusions of the authors’ arguments

identifies the strengths of the arguments and clearly explains why they are strengths

identifies the weaknesses of the arguments and clearly explains why they are weaknesses

utilizes scholarly literature to identify criticisms of the primary arguments

demonstrates a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments in your own words

is free from unsubstantiated opinions

I assess your essays by how they deviate from an excellent essay. I do not assign specific points to each element described above, but rather judge the essay as a whole. A relatively minor element, like grammatical errors, might become more significant if errors permeate the essay, since they can make an essay unreadable.

Topic: Eating Animals

Pro-side

Required exposition: Singer, “All Animals Are Equal”

Citation: Singer, Peter. “All Animals are Equal.” Philosophic Exchange. Volume 5, Number 1 (1974): 103-116.

One of these:

Hursthouse, “Applying Virtue Ethics to Our Treatment of the Other Animals”

Citation: Hursthouse, Rosalind. “Applying Virtue Ethics to Our Treatment of the Other Animals,” in Jennifer Welchman (ed), The Practice of Virtue. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2006. 136-155.

Regan, “The Case for Animal Rights”

Citation: Regan, Tom. 1985, “The Case for Animal Rights,” in Peter Singer (ed.), In Defence of Animals, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985. 13–26.

Korsgaard, “Fellow Creatures: Kantian Ethics and Our Duties to Animals”

Citation: Korsgaard, Christine M. “Fellow Creatures: Kantian Ethics and Our Duties to Animals,” in Grethe B. Peterson (ed.), The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Volume 25/26, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2004.

Con-side

Required exposition: Schedler, “Does Ethical Meat Eating Maximize Utility?”

Citation: Schedler, George. “Does Ethical Meat Eating Maximize Utility?,” Social Theory and Practice. Volume 31, Number 4 (2005): 499-511.

One of these:

Bruckner, “Strict Vegetarianism is Immoral”

Citation: Bruckner, Donald W. “Strict Vegetarianism is Immoral,” in Ben Bramble and Bob Fischer (eds.), The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. Oxford: OUP, 2016. 30-47

Belshaw, “Meat”

Citation: Belshaw, Christopher. “Meat,” in Ben Bramble and Bob Fischer (eds.), The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. Oxford: OUP, 2016. 9-19.

Davis, “The Least Harm Principle May Require that Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet”

Citation: Davis, Stephen L. “The Least Harm Principle May Require that Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. Volume 16, Issue 4 (2003): 387-394.

 

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