Effective Altruism: How Big Should the Tent Be?

Public Affairs Quarterly 32 (4):269-287 (2018)
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Abstract

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 examine what it means to give according to one’s values, I argue, we will see that this is both inconsistent with what EA is like now and inconsistent with its central philosophical commitment to an objective standard that can be used to critically analyze one’s giving. While EA is not merely synonymous with act utilitarianism, it cannot be much more inclusive than it is right now.

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Amy Berg
Oberlin College

Citations of this work

The Philosophical Core of Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 52 (1):93-115.
Effectiveness and Demandingness.Brian Berkey - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (3):368-381.
Buddhism and effective altruism.Calvin Baker - 2021 - In Stefan Riedener, Dominic Roser & Markus Huppenbauer (eds.), Effective Altruism and Religion: Synergies, Tensions, Dialogue. Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos. pp. 17-45.
Effective Altruism and Extreme Poverty.Fırat Akova - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Warwick

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References found in this work

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Ethics and Intuitions.Peter Singer - 2005 - The Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):331-352.
The Right and the Good.W. D. Ross - 1930 - International Journal of Ethics 41 (3):343-351.
Whether and Where to Give.Theron Pummer - 2016 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (1):77-95.

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