Episode 85 – Peter Singer on Effective Altruism


Peter Singer

On this episode, we take a look at Peter Singer and his work on Effective Altruism.

Peter Albert David Singer, AC (born 6 July 1946) is an Australian moral philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, utilitarian perspective. He is known in particular for his book, Animal Liberation (1975), a canonical text in animal liberation theory, and his essay Famine, Affluence, and Morality, a key text in the theory of effective altruism. For most of his career, he was a preference utilitarianism, but he announced in The Point of View of the Universe that he had become a hedonistic utilitarian.

On two occasions, Singer served as chair of the philosophy department at Monash University, where he founded its Centre for Human Bioethics. In 1996 he stood unsuccessfully as a Greens candidate for the Australian Senate. In 2004 Singer was recognized as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and in 2006 he was voted one of Australia's ten most influential public intellectuals. In 2012, he was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to philosophy and bioethics. Singer is a cofounder of Animals Australia and the founder of The Life You Can Save. (source)






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