Hangout, Snacks, and Discussion

Discussion topic: Philosophy of Poverty
Heller Hall 7th Floor Lounge

"Philosophy of Poverty explores some of the deeper issues raised by the tragedy of global poverty.  In the past, the subject of poverty has been relegated to those who make social, economic and public policy.  However, in the past few decades, philosophers have turned their attention to a myriad of issues raised by global poverty." (Louis Harmon)

Questions to think about and discuss:

-- How do we define and conceive of poverty?

-- How is it possible for those who are well off to gain knowledge about what poverty means to the poor?

-- What measures of poverty make it easier for those who are well off to understand the full impact of poverty on human capabilities and well being?

-- What were the historical, social, and economic causes of poverty, and how do those impact our ethical obligations to those who live in poverty?

-- What are the moral obligations of those are well off to people who live in poverty—either in our own country, or in countries throughout the world?

-- How does poverty impact individual agency and imperil free choice and autonomy?

-- Does global poverty harm those who are not themselves morally defensible theory of development?

-- Is freedom from poverty a basic human right?

-- Are there steps that nations, institutions, or citizens of affluent, powerful states might take to eradicate global poverty?

-- How do those who live in poverty experience their educational resources and health care?

-- What can we learn about local poverty by thinking about global poverty?

(adapted from Louis Harmon's Philosophy of Poverty syllabus)