The Ethical, Political and Economic Challenges of Effective Altruism

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Mateusz Kucz
Piotr Rosół


This paper presents a critical evaluation of ethical and philosophical concerns about the effective altruism as an ethical position. Effective altruists claim that one of our important ethical obligations is to do the most good possible, with the biggest possible positive impact. This impact should be measured with rational tools and by evaluating the effectiveness of our actions. At first glance, this might seem as a consensus building position, a good starting point for building a community of people wanting to change the world for the better. In our paper, we present some difficulties which are connected with such a way of thinking about charity and an ethical obligation to donate. We discuss the problem of the commercialization of ethical values, understanding effectiveness, agreeing about goals, as well as the political consequences of effective altruism understood as an ethical position.


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Kucz, M., & Rosół, P. (2020). The Ethical, Political and Economic Challenges of Effective Altruism. ETHICS IN PROGRESS, 11(1), 61-76.
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Author Biographies

Mateusz Kucz, The Maria Grzegorzewska University

Mateusz Kucz - Ph.D. in Philosophy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Moral Philosophy and Global Ethics, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Warsaw) since 2017, previously teaching assistant 2009-2016.  Winner of the second prize in the 7th edition of the Global Prize “Ethics & Trust in Finance” in 2019. Research focuses: ethics, ethics and economics, social ethics, vocational ethics. 

Piotr Rosół, The Maria Grzegorzewska University

Piotr Rosół - Ph.D. in Philosophy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Moral Philosophy and Global Ethics, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Warsaw). Author of a book about ethical responsibilities of science and technology according to Hans Jonas (Hans Jonas o etycznej odpowiedzialności i techniki). Research interests: ethics, philosophy of technology, social ethics, philosophy of social sciences, ethics of transportation.


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