Welcome to Episode 34, where we'll be interviewing Peter Singer and discussing utilitarianism (Part I of II).
Peter Singer is often described as the world's most influential philosopher. Professor Singer is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His work has helped to launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements, as well as making significant contributions in bioethics.
Peter Singer is most famous for his developments to the normative ethical theory utilitarianism. Loosely stated, utilitarianism is the view that we should maximise happiness and pleasure, and reduce pain, suffering and unhappiness, for the greatest number of humans and/or non-human animals. He is known in particular for his book Animal Liberation, in which he argues in favour of vegetarianism, and his essay Famine, Affluence, and Morality, in which he argues in favour of donating to help the global poor.
Practical Ethics, The Life You Can Save, The Most Good You Can Do, One World: The Ethics of Globalisation, Ethics in the Real World - Peter Singer's list of bestselling publications is extensive - but his work goes beyond the written page. Peter Singer is also the founder of the charity The Life You Can Save and co-founder of Animals Australia.
In Part I, we'll be discussing Peter Singer's theory of utilitarianism, and in Part II, we'll be engaging in some further analysis and discussion.
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Part I. Utilitarianism.
Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion.