Effective Altruism 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 the (...) performative or the empirical aspect of the movement. That is, criticism on EA focuses on evaluating the practical realisation of its mandates with little, if any, evaluation on its philosophical foundation. My aim in this paper is to extend the critique but from a different angle, that is, by going back to its philosophical underpinnings. By exploring the philosophical foundation of EA, I would like to show how EA is not authentic altruism as it is founded on the sacrifice of the Other whom is supposed to be saved. (shrink)
Empathy is a term used to denote our experience of connecting or feeling with an Other. The term has been used both by psychologists and phenomenologists as a supplement for our biological capacity to understand an Other. In this paper I would like to challenge the possibility of such empathy. If empathy is employed to mean that we know another person’s feelings, then I argue that this is impossible. I argue that there is an equivocation in the use of the (...) term ‘empathy’ which conditions the appropriation of the Other as we think that we know how the Other feels. To claim that we do know an Other’s feelings – or any kind of their intentional experience – means to appropriate their experience through our own. I will first reveal the equivocal use of the term ‘empathy’ and, then, I will explore Husserl’s use of the term. In Husserl, the understanding of an Other as empathy is only partial. I shall conclude by reiterating a thesis from philosophy of existence and feminist theory according to which to know another person comes from creating a community with them and not because we have a biological structure that can mirror each other’s feelings. (shrink)
Ioannidis relies on existential and feminist psychoanalysis to provide a radical and intertextual philosophical analysis of altruism. Following Nietzsche, he traces altruism to the phenomenon of giving one’s word.