Effective Altruism

Peter Singer

  • Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics

Effective altruism is built on the simple but unsettling idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good one can. In this course you will examine this idea's philosophical underpinnings; meet remarkable people who have restructured their lives in accordance with it, and think about how effective altruism can be put into practice in your own life.

 

You will find discussions of:

  • Meta-Ethics and Normative Ethical Theories
  • Poverty and Affluence
  • What is the Best Cause?
  • How Much Ought We Do to Help Others?
  • Career Choice
  • Why Act Ethically?

This course includes a Giving Game, which gives you an opportunity to reflect on what considerations are most important when choosing a charity. 

 

Course Status

In Session 

What Learners Say

"Thought provoking and persuasive!"

"I took this course because of Professor Peter Singer. Peter Singer changed my life in so many ways. I'm now vegan and subscribe to the idea of Effective Altruism, no single person changed my life this much. I'm science and medicine student and Peter Singer got me interested in philosophy. I've read most of his books. Besides his own influence he also introduced a range of authors including Jeremy Bentham, Henry Sidgwik, David Hume, John Stuart Mill, Derek Parfit et al., who also influenced my thinking. Thank you very much Professor Peter Singer. I owe you much." -Mizrob

"Excellent material on a much needed topic. The course brought together a good number of strong and important ideas, well backed by research and with very interesting and relevant guest speakers."

"Outstanding survey class, recommend it for any and all!"