Objectivity in Ethics: From Hume to Effective Altruism
Peter Singer (Princeton University, University of Melbourne)

August 6, 2014, 7:00am - 8:30am
SHAPS, Philosophy , The University of Melbourne

142 Pelham St-Lecture Theatre
University of Melbourne, Old Quad, Parkville



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This talk will draw on arguments about objectivity in ethics made in my recent co-authored book (Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek & Peter Singer, The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and Contemporary Ethics)  as well as on my current work in progress, which is about the emerging movement known as Effective Altruism.  I will argue, broadly along Sidgwick's lines, for objectivity in ethics and in practical reason, and against a Humean view of the relationship between reason and emotion.  I will suggest that the case for objectivism gains some support from empirical research in psychology and neuroscience and - more speculatively - from the motivations of at least some proponents of Effective Altruism. 

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