Peter Singer

Famine, Affluence, and Morality

Peter Singer

Talk: Famine, Affluence, and Morality

Peter Singer discusses his seminal work "Famine, Affluence, and Morality" and what it means to live a moral life in a grossly unequal world. Originally published in 1972, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” is one of the most widely discussed essays in applied ethics. He argues that we have the same moral obligations to those living far away as we do to those close to us – choosing not to send life saving money to starving people on the other side of the world is the moral equivalent of neglecting to save a drowning child because we would prefer not to muddy our shoes. If we can help, we must – and any excuse is hypocrisy.

Peter Singer

Peter Singer is an Australian moral philosopher, professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. He specialises in applied ethics and approaches ethical issues from a secular, utilitarian perspective – and few people are better placed to advise on what actions we ought to take to lead moral lives.

The Book

As Bill and Melinda Gates observe in their foreword, in the age of today's global philanthropy, Singer's essay is as relevant now as it ever was. This edition collects the original article, two of Singer's more recent popular writings on our obligations to others around the world, and a new introduction by Singer that discusses his current thinking.

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