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  1. Shackling the Poor, or Effective Altruism: A Critique of the Philosophical Foundation of Effective Altruism.Iraklis Ioannidis - 2021 - Conatus 2 (5).
    Effective Altruism (EA) is both a philosophy and a movement. The main criticism on EA is that by donating to charities EA leaves fundamental moral issues such as global poverty and injustice intact. EA arguably does not promote radical institutional change which could lead to an ultimate eradication of the problems that may endanger people’s lives in the first place. In this article this critique is reinforced from a different point of view. The criticism on EA has been mainly on (...)
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  • Effective Altruism and Extreme Poverty.Fırat Akova - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    Effective altruism is a movement which aims to maximise good. Effective altruists are concerned with extreme poverty and many of them think that individuals have an obligation to donate to effective charities to alleviate extreme poverty. Their reasoning, which I will scrutinise, is as follows: -/- Premise 1. Extreme poverty is very bad. -/- Premise 2. If it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything else morally significant, we ought, morally, to do (...)
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  • Poverty and the Peril of Particulars.Jordan Arthur Thomson - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):661-677.
    Moral extremists argue for a demanding duty of poverty relief by leveraging powerful intuitions about our duties to rescue those close at hand. I clear the way for a less demanding duty by arguing that this argumentative strategy commits the extremist to a conception of our duty in the face of global poverty that is deeply at odds with our convictions about how we may discharge that duty. These convictions reveal that global poverty and easy rescue cases give rise to (...)
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  • The Most Good We Can Do or the Best Person We Can Be?Michel Bourban & Lisa Broussois - 2020 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 23 (2):159-179.
    We challenge effective altruism (EA) on the basis that it should be more inclusive regarding the demands of altruism. EA should consider carefully agents’ intentions and the role those intentions can play in agents’ moral lives. Although we argue that good intentions play an instrumental role and can lead to better results, by adopting a Hutchesonian perspective, we show that intentions should, first and foremost, be considered for their intrinsic value. We examine offsetting and geoengineering, two so-called solutions to climate (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Sweatshops, Structural Injustice, and the Wrong of Exploitation: Why Multinational Corporations Have Positive Duties to the Global Poor.Brian Berkey - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics 169 (1):43-56.
    It is widely thought that firms that employ workers in “sweatshop” conditions wrongfully exploit those workers. This claim has been challenged by those who argue that because companies are not obligated to hire their workers in the first place, employing them cannot be wrong so long as they voluntarily accept their jobs and genuinely benefit from them. In this article, I argue that we can maintain that at least many sweatshop employees are wrongfully exploited, while accepting the plausible claim at (...)
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  • Utility Cascades.Max Khan Hayward - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):433-442.
    Utility cascades occur when a utilitarian’s reduction of support for an intervention reduces the effectiveness of that intervention, leading the utilitarian to further reduce support, thereby further undermining effectiveness, and so on, in a negative spiral. This paper illustrates the mechanisms by which utility cascades occur, and then draws out the theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, utility cascades provide an argument that the utilitarian agent should sometimes either ignore evidence about effectiveness or fail to apportion support to effectiveness. Practically, utility (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Beyond Moral Efficiency: Effective Altruism and Theorizing About Effectiveness.Federico Zuolo - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-14.
    In this article I provide a conceptual analysis of an underexplored issue in the debate about effective altruism: its theory of effectiveness. First, I distinguish effectiveness from efficiency and claim that effective altruism understands effectiveness through the lens of efficiency. Then, I discuss the limitations of this approach in particular with respect to the charge that it is incapable of supporting structural change. Finally, I propose an expansion of the notion of effectiveness of effective altruism by referring to the debate (...)
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  • 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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