This week, Peter Singer’s online course on Effective Altruism is getting underway on Coursera. Based on the philosopher’s books, The Life You Can Save and The Most Good You Can Do, the course introduces students to the concept of Effective Altruism, which asserts that “living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good one can.” Particularly, the course promises to examine the philosophical underpinnings of Effective Altruism, “present 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.” The introductory video for the course appears above. You can enroll free here.
A philosophy professor at Princeton, Singer first became well-known when he published Animal Liberation in 1975 and helped put an intellectual framework around the animal rights movement. More recently, he has brought his utilitarian philosophy to bear on global poverty. Sometimes controversial, Singer is undeniably influential. (He was named world’s third most influential global thought leader in 2013.) The Effective Altruism course gives you a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with Singer’s style of thought, and put philosophy into meaningful action.
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