Ethics and [Effective] Altruism Links 7.20.2015


  1. The Logic of Effective Altruism
    1. Catherine Tumber Responds – Parallels drawn with Carnegie are interesting. Although I think a major counterpoint here is that raw economic growth has alleviated the majority of poverty within the last 20 years alone.
  2. Other People’s Mothers – Critique of Singer and utilitarianism as too reductionist. Theory vs practice of applying his concepts of Person-hood and altruism as prescribed. Not particularly damning of Effective Altruism, other than touching on the idea that adding just a bit of uncertainty to a toy model can completely throw off cost/benefit intuitions
  3. The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics – Emphasizes how difficult it can be to do a little bit of good rather than some idea of optimal (from a publicity perspective). Touches on the idea of how hard it is to analyze social cost/benefits of an act. To me, this suggests caution in following EA (effective altruism) arguments that suggest things like donating malaria nets being clearly more beneficial than Arts/Humanities charity.

gary

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