Are We Conditionally Obligated to be Effective Altruists?

Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (1):36-59 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


It seems that you can be in a position to rescue people in mortal danger and yet have no obligation to do so, because of the sacrifice to you that this would involve. At the same time, if you do save anyone, then you must not leave anyone to die whom it would cost you no additional sacrifice to save. On the basis of these claims, Theron Pummer and Joe Horton have recently defended a ‘conditional obligation of effective altruism’, which requires one to give to the most cost-effective charity if one is going to make a charitable donation at all, all other things equal. Appealing to a distinction between 'thoroughgoing' and 'half-hearted' non-consequentialism, I argue that their inferences don’t go through, and moreover that this sort of argument in general is unlikely to work as a way to defend effective altruism.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,923

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Focus on Fish: A Call to Effective Altruists.Max Elder & Bob Fischer - 2017 - Essays in Philosophy 18 (1):107-129.
The Ethical Principles of Effective Altruism.Anthony Skelton - 2016 - Journal of Global Ethics 12 (2):137-146.
Inferences on the basis of conditionally nonindependent data.David A. Schum - 1966 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 72 (3):401.
Some elementary properties of conditionally distributive lattices.Jacek Hawranek & Jan Zygmunt - 1983 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 12 (3):117-120.
Varieties of altruism.Philip Kitcher - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (2):121-148.


Added to PP

246 (#85,019)

6 months
41 (#98,028)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Thomas Sinclair
University of Oxford

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references