In 1972, the young philosopher Peter Singer published "Famine, Affluence and Morality," which rapidly became one of the most widely discussed essays in applied ethics. Through this article, Singer presents his view that we have the same moral obligations to those far away as we do to those close to us. He argued that choosing not to send life-saving money to starving people on the other side of the earth is the moral equivalent of neglecting to save drowning children because we prefer not to muddy our shoes. If we can help, we must--and any excuse is hypocrisy. Singer's extreme stand on our moral obligations to others became a powerful call to arms and continues to challenge people's attitudes towards extreme poverty. Today, it remains a central touchstone for those who argue we should all help others more than we do.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 attractively packaged, concise 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.
Oxford University Press; November 2015
- ISBN: 9780190219215
- Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
- Title: Famine, Affluence, and Morality
- Author: Peter Singer; Bill and Melinda Gates (other)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
In The Press
"Peter Singer's 'Famine, Affluence, and Morality' is the single most important text in applied ethics. Singer gives us the simplest and most powerful argument in modern philosophy that we must change the way we live fundamentally." --Leif Wenar, Kings College London
"Singer's Famine, Affluence, and Morality is an important influential argument that better off people should do more to alleviate poverty. Everyone should read it." --Gilbert Harman, Princeton University
About The Author
Peter Singer has been described as the world's most influential philosopher. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, One World, The Life You Can Save, and The Point of View of the Universe. In 2014 the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute ranked him third on its list of Global Thought Leaders, and Time has ranked him among the world's 100 most influential people.