Peter Singer: The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically
17 September 2015, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
Effective altruism is built upon the simple but profound idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the “most good you can do.” Such a life requires an unsentimental view of charitable giving: to be a worthy recipient of our support, an organization must be able to demonstrate that it will do more good with our money or our time than other options open to us. In this talk, Singer will introduce us to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their lives in accordance with these ideas, and show how effective altruism challenges common views about the choice between different good causes.
Peter Singer is an Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. From 2005 on, he has also held the part-time position of Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, first in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, and then in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.
Peter Singer first became well-known internationally after the publication of Animal Liberation. His other books include: Democracy and Disobedience; Practical Ethics; The Expanding Circle; Marx; Hegel; Animal Factories (with Jim Mason); The Reproduction Revolution (with Deane Wells), Should the Baby Live? (with Helga Kuhse), How Are We to Live?, Rethinking Life and Death, Ethics into Action, A Darwinian Left, One World, Pushing Time Away, The President of Good and Evil, How Ethical is Australia? (with Tom Gregg), The Way We Eat (with Jim Mason) and The Life You Can Save. He also co-authored The Greens with Bob Brown, founder of the Australian Greens. Books he has edited or co-edited include Test-Tube Babies; In Defence of Animals; Applied Ethics; Animal Rights and Human Obligations; Embryo Experimentation; A Companion to Ethics; The Great Ape Project: Equality Beyond Humanity, Ethics, A Companion to Bioethics, Bioethics: An Anthology, The Moral of the Story, In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave and Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Issues. His works have appeared in more than 20 languages. He is the author of the major article on Ethics in the current edition of the Encylopaedia Britannica. Two collections of his writings have been published: Writings on an Ethical Life, which he edited, and Unsanctifying Human Life, edited by Helga Kuhse. There are also two collections of critical essays about his work, which include his responses: Singer and His Critics, edited by Dale Jamieson, and Peter Singer Under Fire, edited by Jeffrey Schaler. The latter includes a 75 page “Intellectual Autobiography.”
Peter Singer was the founding President of the International Association of Bioethics, and with Helga Kuhse, founding co-editor of the journal Bioethics. Outside academic life, he is the co-founder, and President, of The Great Ape Project, an international effort to obtain basic rights for chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. He is also President of Animal Rights International.
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