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Effective Altruism and Systemic Change

Utilitas 31 (3):262-276 (2019)

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  1. 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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  • Effective Altruism and its Critics.Iason Gabriel - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (4):457-473.
    Effective altruism is a philosophy and a social movement that aims to revolutionise the way we do philanthropy. It encourages individuals to do as much good as possible, typically by contributing money to the best-performing aid and development organisations. Surprisingly, this approach has met with considerable resistance among activists and aid providers who argue that effective altruism is insensitive to justice insofar as it overlooks the value of equality, urgency and rights. They also hold that the movement suffers from methodological (...)
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  • Effective Altruism and Anti-Capitalism: An Attempt at Reconciliation.Joshua Kissel - 2017 - Essays in Philosophy 18 (1):68-90.
    Leftwing critiques of philanthropy are not new and so it is unsurprising that the Effective Altruism movement, which regards philanthropy as one of its tools, has been a target in recent years. Similarly, some Effective Altruists have regarded anti-capitalist strategy with suspicion. This essay is an attempt at harmonizing Effective Altruism and the anti-capitalism. My attraction to Effective Altruism and anti-capitalism are motivated by the same desire for a better world and so personal consistency demands reconciliation. More importantly however, I (...)
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  • The Logic of Team Reasoning.Robert Sugden - 2003 - Philosophical Explorations 6 (3):165 – 181.
    Abstract Orthodox decision theory presupposes that agency is invested in individuals. An opposing literature allows team agency to be invested in teams whose members use distinctive modes of team reasoning. This paper offers a new conceptual framework, inspired by David Lewis's analysis of common reasons for belief, within which team reasoning can be represented. It shows how individuals can independently endorse a principle of team reasoning which prescribes acting as a team member conditional on assurance that others have endorsed the (...)
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  • The Fallacy of Philanthropy.Paul Gomberg - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):29 - 65.
    Global poverty, hunger, and lack of access to save water raise problems of how to organize human society so that everyone's needs can be met. Philanthropic proposals, such as Peter Singer's and Peter Unger's, are based on a false analogy to duties of rescue and encourage philanthropic responses, thus closing the discourse to discussion of the causes and remedies of poverty. Radical criticism of capitalist social structures are put off the table, and this is a profound error.
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  • Effective Altruism and its Critics.Iason Gabriel - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (3).
    Effective altruism is a philosophy and a social movement that aims to revolutionise the way we do philanthropy. It encourages individuals to do as much good as possible, typically by contributing money to the best-performing aid and development organisations. Surprisingly, this approach has met with considerable resistance among activists and aid providers who argue that effective altruism is insensitive to justice insofar as it overlooks the value of equality, urgency and rights. They also hold that the movement suffers from methodological (...)
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  • Why Should We Team Reason?Katharine Browne - 2018 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (2):185-198.
  • 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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