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  1. Assessing the Perpetual Charitable Trust: Are the Wishes of the Dead More Important Than the Needs of the Living?Garrett Pendergraft - 2021 - SAGE Business Cases.
    Are the wishes of the dead more important than the needs of the living? This question is prompted by consideration of the Hershey Trust Company, a perpetual charitable trust that not only owns and operates the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, but also owns a controlling interest in various Hershey-related for-profit entities. This unusual arrangement, and the conditions under which it was formed, have produced a situation in which a small, private boarding school for low-income students has an endowment of (...)
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  2. Political Theory and the Nonprofit Sector.Theodore Lechterman & Rob Reich - 2020 - In The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook. Stanford, CA, USA: pp. 171-91.
    This chapter defends an overarching ideal of liberal democracy—government for and by the people, where each is considered free and equal—and shows how different conceptions of this ideal lead to different visions of the nonprofit sector. The argument reflects a more fundamental point: that claims about the proper shape and scope of civil society, and certainly the dimensions of nonprofit organizations, are structured by larger political ideals. We cannot understand competing visions of the nonprofit sector without seeing it in relation (...)
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  3. Review of Paul Woodruff (Ed.), The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers’ Perspectives on Philanthropy. [REVIEW]Theodore Lechterman - 2019 - Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 48:1110–12.
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  4. The Tyranny of Generosity.Theodore M. Lechterman - 2022 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The practice of philanthropy, which releases private property for public purposes, represents in many ways the best angels of our nature. But this practice's noteworthy virtues often obscure the fact that philanthropy also represents the exercise of private power. -/- In The Tyranny of Generosity, Theodore Lechterman shows how this private power can threaten the foundations of a democratic society. The deployment of private wealth for public ends may rival the authority of communities to determine their own affairs. And, in (...)
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  5. Comparing the Effect of Rational and Emotional Appeals on Donation Behavior.Matthew Lindauer, Marcus Mayorga, Joshua D. Greene, Paul Slovic, Daniel Västfjäll & Peter Singer - 2020 - Judgment and Decision Making 15 (3):413-420.
    We present evidence from a pre-registered experiment indicating that a philosophical argument––a type of rational appeal––can persuade people to make charitable donations. The rational appeal we used follows Singer’s well-known “shallow pond” argument (1972), while incorporating an evolutionary debunking argument (Paxton, Ungar, & Greene 2012) against favoring nearby victims over distant ones. The effectiveness of this rational appeal did not differ significantly from that of a well-tested emotional appeal involving an image of a single child in need (Small, Loewenstein, and (...)
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  6. Consumption, Development Aid, and Natural Law.Gary Chartier - 2007 - Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice 13:205-57.
    Examines how new classical natural law theory might respond to the question what kind of personal giving in support of international development efforts might be morally obligatory. Examines a range of examples offered by natural law thinkers.
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  7. Rescue and Personal Involvement: A Response to Woollard.Theron Pummer & Roger Crisp - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):59-66.
    Fiona Woollard argues that when one is personally involved in an emergency, one has a moral requirement to make substantial sacrifices to aid others that one would not otherwise have. She holds that there are three ways in which one could be personally involved in an emergency: by being physically proximate to the victims of the emergency; by being the only person who can help the victims; or by having a personal encounter with the victims. Each of these factors is (...)
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  8. All or Nothing, but If Not All, Next Best or Nothing.Theron Pummer - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (5):278-291.
    Suppose two children face a deadly threat. You can either do nothing, save one child by sacrificing your arms, or save both by sacrificing your arms. Here are two plausible claims: first, it is permissible to do nothing; second, it is wrong to save only one. Joe Horton argues that the combination of these two claims has the implausible implication that if you are not going to save both children, you ought to save neither. This is one instance of what (...)
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  9. Eine Theorie der globalen Verantwortung. Was wir Menschen in extremer Armut schulden.Valentin Beck - 2016 - Berlin, Deutschland: Suhrkamp Verlag.
    Auch zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts lebt ein großer Teil der Menschheit in bitterer Armut. Daraus ergibt sich die brennende Frage, was die Bürgerinnen und Bürger wohlhabender Länder extrem armen Menschen moralisch schulden. Valentin Beck beantwortet sie im Rahmen einer umfassenden Theorie der globalen Verantwortung. In seinem glänzend geschriebenen Buch behandelt er zentrale Fragen der Theorie globaler Gerechtigkeit, unterzieht unsere Verflechtung in globale soziale Strukturen einer detaillierten Analyse und wirft so ein neues Licht auf eine der größten moralischen Herausforderungen unserer (...)
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  10. Pogge, Poverty, and War.Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (4):446-469.
    According to Thomas Pogge, rich people do not simply violate a positive duty of assistance to help the global poor; rather, they violate a negative duty not to harm them. They do so by imposing an unjust global economic structure on poor people. Assuming that these claims are correct, it follows that, ceteris paribus, wars waged by the poor against the rich to resist this imposition are morally equivalent to wars waged in self-defense against military aggression. Hence, if self-defense against (...)
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  11. The Needs Of The Needy, Or The Needs Of The Donors?Nimruji Jammulamadak - 2012 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 24 (1):37-50.
    NGOs are popularly viewed as altruistic and responsive to the needy. However, the availability of donors is a primary trigger for the formation of NGOs. This finding need not dispel the impression that NGOs are altruistic enterprises, though altruism is primarily an individual-level characteristic, but when it leads to the formation of an NGO, the organization will usually require funding, and donors appear to use the existence of other NGOs as a heuristic indicating the need for more NGOs. Thus, the (...)
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  12. After Justice: Welfare Rites.Colleen Stameschkin - 1996 - Social Philosophy Today 12:253-266.
Effective Altruism
  1. TOMS Shoes: Effective Altruism?Garrett Pendergraft - 2021 - SAGE Business Cases.
    In the one-for-one business model, a purchaser of, for example, a pair of shoes simultaneously purchases a pair of shoes for a child in need. This model, popularized by TOMS shoe company in 2006, has been remarkably successful. The driving force behind the success is most likely the emotional appeal of the one-for-one idea. The TOMS model has been criticized, however—not just for being less effective than advertised, but for arguably doing more harm than good. Whether or not this latter (...)
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  2. Better Vaguely Right Than Precisely Wrong in Effective Altruism: The Problem of Marginalism.Nicolas Côté & Bastian Steuwer - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy:1-18.
    Effective altruism requires that when we donate to charity, we maximize the beneficial impact of our donations. While we are in broad sympathy with EA, we raise a practical problem for EA, which is that there is a crucial empirical presupposition implicit in its charity assessment methods which is false in many contexts. This is the presupposition that the magnitude of the benefits generated by some charity vary continuously in the scale of the intervention performed. We characterize a wide class (...)
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  3. Public Philosophy in Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2022 - In Lee McIntyre, Nancy McHugh & Ian Olasov (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Public Philosophy. Oxford, UK: pp. 166-174.
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  4. Globale Armut bekämpfen. Und wie?!? Der Effektive Altruismus.Stefan Riedener - 2021 - In Bernd Dennemarck, Bernd Goebel & Tobias Hack (eds.), Armut. Würzburg, Germany: pp. 143-169.
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  5. Effective Altruism and Religion: Synergies, Tensions, Dialogue.Stefan Riedener, Dominic Roser & Markus Huppenbauer (eds.) - 2021 - Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos.
    Effective altruism has become a worldwide phenomenon. The movement combines empathy and reason in the attempt to improve the world. Adherents don’t let moral gut instincts dictate their altruistic efforts, but use evidence and reflection to do the most good they can. Effective altruism originated, and primarily grew, in strongly secular environments—such as philosophy departments or Silicon Valley. So far, a religious perspective on this movement has been lacking. What can people of faith learn from effective altruism? What may they (...)
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  6. Human Extinction From a Thomist Perspective.Stefan Riedener - 2022 - In Effective Altruism and Religion Synergies, Tensions, Dialogue. Baden-Baden, Germany: pp. 187-210.
    “Existential risks” are risks that threaten the destruction of humanity’s long-term potential: risks of nuclear wars, pandemics, supervolcano eruptions, and so on. On standard utilitarianism, it seems, the reduction of such risks should be a key global priority today. Many effective altruists agree with this verdict. But how should the importance of these risks be assessed on a Christian moral theory? In this paper, I begin to answer this question – taking Thomas Aquinas as a reference, and the risks of (...)
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  7. Should Longtermists Recommend Hastening Extinction Rather Than Delaying It?Richard Pettigrew -
    Longtermism is the view that the most urgent global priorities, and those to which we should devote the largest portion of our current resources, are those that focus on ensuring a long future for humanity, and perhaps sentient or intelligent life more generally, and improving the quality of those lives in that long future. The central argument for this conclusion is that, given a fixed amount of a resource that we are able to devote to global priorities, the longtermist’s favoured (...)
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  8. The Rules of Rescue: Cost, Distance, and Effective Altruism.Theron Pummer - forthcoming - New York: Oxford University Press.
    When do you have to sacrifice life and limb, time and money, to prevent harm to others? When must you save more people rather than fewer? These questions might arise in emergencies involving strangers drowning or trapped in burning buildings, but they also arise in our everyday lives, in which we confront opportunities to donate time or money to help distant strangers in need of food, shelter, or medical care. With the resources available, we can provide more help--or less. -/- (...)
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  9. The Effective Altruist's Political Problem.Theodore Lechterman - 2020 - Polity 1 (52):88-115.
    Critics of private charity often claim that the well-off should instead assist the disadvantaged through political reform. The present article explores this idea with reference to effective altruism, a powerful new paradigm in the ethics of philanthropy. Effective altruism presses the relatively affluent not only to give generously, but also to subject their practical deliberations to rigorous evaluations of impartiality and cost-effectiveness. The article contends that the movement’s sophisticated methods are not sufficient to overcome the worries of institutionalist critics. At (...)
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  10. 80,000 Hours for the Common Good: A Thomistic Appraisal of Effective Altruism.Ryan Miller - forthcoming - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.
    Effective Altruism is a rapidly growing and influential contemporary philosophical movement committed to updating utilitarianism in both theory and practice. The movement focuses on identifying urgent but neglected causes and inspiring supererogatory giving to meet the need. It also tries to build a broader coalition by adopting a more ecumenical approach to ethics which recognizes a wide range of values and moral constraints. These interesting developments distinguish Effective Altruism from the utilitarianism of the past in ways that invite cooperation and (...)
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  11. Impermissible yet Praiseworthy.Theron Pummer - 2021 - Ethics 131 (4):697-726.
    It is commonly held that unexcused impermissible acts are necessarily blameworthy, not praiseworthy. I argue that unexcused impermissible acts can not only be pro tanto praiseworthy, but overall praiseworthy—and even more so than permissible alternatives. For example, there are cases in which it is impermissible to at great cost to yourself rescue fewer rather than more strangers, yet overall praiseworthy, and more so than permissibly rescuing no one. I develop a general framework illuminating how praiseworthiness can so radically come apart (...)
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  12. The Philosophical Core of Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (1):93-115.
    Effective altruism’s identity as both a philosophy and a social movement requires effective altruists to consider which philosophical commitments are essential, such that one must embrace them in order to count as an effective altruist, at least in part in the light of the goal of building a robust social movement capable of advancing its aims. The goal of building a social movement provides a strong reason for effective altruists to embrace an ecumenical set of core commitments. At the same (...)
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  13. Exploitation and Effective Altruism.Daniel Muñoz - 2021 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 20 (4):409-423.
    How could it be wrong to exploit—say, by paying sweatshop wages—if the exploited party benefits? How could it be wrong to do something gratuitously bad—like giving to a wasteful charity—if that is better than permissibly doing nothing? Joe Horton argues that these puzzles, known as the Exploitation Problem and All or Nothing Problem, have no unified answer. I propose one and pose a challenge for Horton’s take on the Exploitation Problem.
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  14. The Hidden Zero Problem: Effective Altruism and Barriers to Marginal Impact.Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - 2019 - In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues.
    In this chapter, Mark Budolfson and Dean Spears analyse the marginal effect of philanthropic donations. The core of their analysis is the observation that marginal good done per dollar donated is a product (in the mathematical sense) of several factors: change in good done per change in activity level of the charity in question, change in activity per change in the charity’s budget size, and change in budget size per change in the individual’s donation to the charity in question. They (...)
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  15. Effectiveness and Demandingness.Brian Berkey - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (3):368-381.
    It has been argued in some recent work that there are many cases in which individuals are subject to conditional obligations to give to more effective rather than less effective charities, despite not being unconditionally obligated to give. These conditional obligations, it has been suggested, can allow effective altruists to make the central claims about the ethics of charitable giving that characterize the movement without taking any particular position on morality's demandingness. I argue that the range of cases involving charitable (...)
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  16. Rejecting Supererogationism.Christian Tarsney - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):599-623.
    Even if I think it very likely that some morally good act is supererogatory rather than obligatory, I may nonetheless be rationally required to perform that act. This claim follows from an apparently straightforward dominance argument, which parallels Jacob Ross's argument for 'rejecting' moral nihilism. These arguments face analogous pairs of objections that illustrate general challenges for dominance reasoning under normative uncertainty, but (I argue) these objections can be largely overcome. This has practical consequences for the ethics of philanthropy -- (...)
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  17. Effective Justice.Roger Crisp & Theron Pummer - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (4):398-415.
    Effective Altruism is a social movement which encourages people to do as much good as they can when helping others, given limited money, time, effort, and other resources. This paper first identifies a minimal philosophical view that underpins this movement, and then argues that there is an analogous minimal philosophical view which might underpin Effective Justice, a possible social movement that would encourage promoting justice most effectively, given limited resources. The latter minimal view reflects an insight about justice, and our (...)
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  18. Effectiveness and Ecumenicity.Chong-Ming Lim - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (5):590-612.
    Effective altruism is purportedly ecumenical towards different moral views, charitable causes, and evidentiary methods. I argue that effective altruists’ criticisms of purportedly less effective charities are inconsistent with their commitment to ecumenicity. Individuals may justifiably support charities other than those recommended by effective altruism. If effective altruists take their commitment to ecumenicity seriously, they will have to revise their criticisms of many of these charities.
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  19. Effective Altruism’s Underspecification Problem.Travis Timmerman - 2019 - In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 166-183.
    Effective altruists either believe they ought to be, or strive to be, doing the most good they can. Since they’re human, however, effective altruists are invariably fallible. In numerous situations, even the most committed EAs would fail to live up to the ideal they set for themselves. This fact raises a central question about how to understand effective altruism. How should one’s future prospective failures at doing the most good possible affect the current choices one makes as an effective altruist? (...)
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  20. Effective Altruism and Systemic Change.Antonin Broi - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):262-276.
    One of the main objections against effective altruism is the so-called institutional critique, according to which the EA movement neglects interventions that affect large-scale institutions. Alexander Dietz has recently put forward an interesting version of this critique, based on a theoretical problem affecting act-utilitarianism, which he deems as potentially conclusive against effective altruism. In this article I argue that his critique is not as promising as it seems. I then go on to propose another version of the institutional critique. In (...)
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  21. Aid Scepticism and Effective Altruism.William MacAskill - 2019 - Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (1):49-60.
    In the article, ‘Being Good in a World of Need: Some Empirical Worries and an Uncomfortable Philosophical Possibility,’ Larry Temkin presents some concerns about the possible impact of international aid on the poorest people in the world, suggesting that the nature of the duties of beneficence of the global rich to the global poor are much more murky than some people have made out. -/- In this article, I’ll respond to Temkin from the perspective of effective altruism—one of the targets (...)
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  22. Being Good in a World of Uncertainty: A Reply to Temkin.Theodore M. Lechterman - 2019 - Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (1):33-39.
    This reply affirms Temkin’s critical perspective on effective altruism but seeks to draw out its constructive implications. It first encourages Temkin to defend the practical urgency of global poverty in the face of doubts about aid effectiveness. It then argues for a more holistic conception of effectiveness to mitigate these doubts. It considers some alternative aid strategies that respond to this broader conception. Finally, it exhorts effective altruists to think more seriously about the reform of global institutions.
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  23. Being Good in a World of Need: Some Empirical Worries and an Uncomfortable Philosophical Possibility.Larry S. Temkin - 2019 - Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (1):1-23.
    In this article, I present some worries about the possible impact of global efforts to aid the needy in some of the world’s most desperate regions. Among the worries I address are possible unintended negative consequences that may occur elsewhere in a society when aid agencies hire highly qualified local people to promote their agendas; the possibility that foreign interests and priorities may have undue influence on a country’s direction and priorities, negatively impacting local authority and autonomy; and the related (...)
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  24. Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues.Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.) - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is the first collective study of the thinking behind the effective altruism movement. This movement comprises a growing global community of people who organise significant parts of their lives around the two key concepts represented in its name. Altruism is the idea that if we use a significant portion of the resources in our possession—whether money, time, or talents—with a view to helping others then we can improve the world considerably. When we do put such resources to altruistic use, (...)
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  25. Each-We Dilemmas and Effective Altruism.Theron Pummer & Matthew Clark - 2019 - Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (1):24-32.
    In his interesting and provocative article ‘Being Good in a World of Need’, Larry Temkin argues for the possibility of a type of Each-We Dilemma in which, if we each produce the most good we can individually, we produce a worse outcome collectively. Such situations would ostensibly be troubling from the standpoint of effective altruism, the project of finding out how to do the most good and doing it, subject to not violating side-constraints. We here show that Temkin’s argument is (...)
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  26. Effective Altruism.Theron Pummer & William MacAskill - 2020 - International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
    In this entry, we discuss both the definition of effective altruism and objections to effective altruism, so defined.
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  27. Charity and Partiality.Theron Pummer - 2019 - In David Edmonds (ed.), Ethics and the Contemporary World. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 121-132.
    Many of us give to charities that are close to our hearts rather than those that would use our gifts to do more good, impartially considered. Is such partiality to charities acceptable? I argue that if partiality to particular people is justified, we can go SOME distance toward justifying partiality to particular charities. Even so, partiality to charities is justified in fewer cases than most people seem to believe.
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  28. Review of The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers’ Perspectives on Philanthropy. [REVIEW]Theron Pummer - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278):426-429.
    The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers’ Perspectives on Philanthropy. Edited by Woodruff Paul.
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  29. Collective Obligations and the Institutional Critique of Effective Altruism: A Reply to Alexander Dietz.Brian Berkey - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):326-333.
    In a recent article in this journal, Alexander Dietz argues that what I have called the ‘institutional critique of effective altruism’ is best understood as grounded in the claim that ‘EA relies on an overly individualistic approach to ethics, neglecting the importance of our collective obligations’. In this reply, I argue that Dietz’s view does not represent a plausible interpretation of the institutional critiques offered by others, primarily because, unlike Dietz, they appear to believe that their critiques provide reasons to (...)
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  30. Charity Vs. Revolution: Effective Altruism and the Systemic Change Objection.Timothy Syme - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):93-120.
    Effective Altruism encourages affluent people to make significant donations to improve the wellbeing of the world’s poor, using quantified and observational methods to identify the most efficient charities. Critics argue that EA is inattentive to the systemic causes of poverty and underestimates the effectiveness of individual contributions to systemic change. EA claims to be open to systemic change but suggests that systemic critiques, such as the socialist critique of capitalism, are unhelpfully vague and serve primarily as hypocritical rationalizations of continued (...)
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  31. Effective Altruism: How Big Should the Tent Be?Amy Berg - 2018 - Public Affairs Quarterly 32 (4):269-287.
    The effective altruism movement (EA) is one of the most influential philosophically savvy movements to emerge in recent years. Effective Altruism has historically been dedicated to finding out what charitable giving is the most overall-effective, that is, the most effective at promoting or maximizing the impartial good. But some members of EA want the movement to be more inclusive, allowing its members to give in the way that most effectively promotes their values, even when doing so isn’t overall-effective. When we (...)
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  32. Effective Altruism and Collective Obligations.Alexander Dietz - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (1):106-115.
    Effective altruism (EA) is a movement devoted to the idea of doing good in the most effective way possible. EA has been the target of a number of critiques. In this article, I focus on one prominent critique: that EA fails to acknowledge the importance of institutional change. One version of this critique claims that EA relies on an overly individualistic approach to ethics. Defenders of EA have objected that this charge either fails to identify a problem with EA's core (...)
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  33. Review of The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy (Ed. Woodruff). [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  34. Are We Conditionally Obligated to Be Effective Altruists?Thomas Sinclair - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (1):36-59.
    It seems that you can be in a position to rescue people in mortal danger and yet have no obligation to do so, because of the sacrifice to you that this would involve. At the same time, if you do save anyone, then you must not leave anyone to die whom it would cost you no additional sacrifice to save. On the basis of these claims, Theron Pummer and Joe Horton have recently defended a ‘conditional obligation of effective altruism’, which (...)
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  35. The Institutional Critique of Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):143-171.
    In recent years, the effective altruism movement has generated much discussion about the ways in which we can most effectively improve the lives of the global poor, and pursue other morally important goals. One of the most common criticisms of the movement is that it has unjustifiably neglected issues related to institutional change that could address the root causes of poverty, and instead focused its attention on encouraging individuals to direct resources to organizations that directly aid people living in poverty. (...)
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  36. Wild Animal Suffering is Intractable.Nicolas Delon & Duncan Purves - 2018 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (2):239-260.
    Most people believe that suffering is intrinsically bad. In conjunction with facts about our world and plausible moral principles, this yields a pro tanto obligation to reduce suffering. This is the intuitive starting point for the moral argument in favor of interventions to prevent wild animal suffering. If we accept the moral principle that we ought, pro tanto, to reduce the suffering of all sentient creatures, and we recognize the prevalence of suffering in the wild, then we seem committed to (...)
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  37. Donation Without Domination: Private Charity and Republican Liberty.Robert S. Taylor - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (4):441-462.
    Contemporary republicans have adopted a less-than-charitable attitude toward private beneficence, especially when it is directed to the poor, worrying that rich patrons may be in a position to exercise arbitrary power over their impoverished clients. These concerns have led them to support impartial public provision by way of state welfare programs, including an unconditional basic income (UBI). In contrast to this administrative model of public welfare, I will propose a competitive model in which the state regulates and subsidizes a decentralized (...)
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  38. An Unfortunate State of Affairs.Hilary Greaves - 2016 - In David Edmonds (ed.), Philosophers Take on the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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