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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter evaluates effective altruism and its link to science. Contrary to much philosophical discussion, effective altruism is not tied essentially to utilitarianism and therefore does not suffer from the criticisms directed against utilitarianism. Prominent criticisms of effective altruism itself are unconvincing, since they identify remediable problems within the surrounding social movement and not problems essential to the theory itself. As a philosophical theory, effective altruism is worthy of allegiance because it strengthens a laudable connection between moral decision making and scientific evidence. Some philosophers and scientists believe that science supports utilitarianism, but their arguments are unpersuasive. Effective altruism is most plausible when it is divorced from utilitarianism. Despite that, effectice altruism can still encourage large and positive changes to our moral practices.

Keywords: effective altruism, utilitarianism, science, structural injustice, special obligations, debunking

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