Peter Singer


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Peter Singer

Goodreads Author


Born
in Melbourne, Australia
Website

Genre

Influences
John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, R.M. Hare, Jeremy Bentham

Member Since
March 2015


Peter Singer is sometimes called "the world’s most influential living philosopher" although he thinks that if that is true, it doesn't say much for all the other living philosophers around today. He has also been called the father (or grandfather?) of the modern animal rights movement, even though he doesn't base his philosophical views on rights, either for humans or for animals.


In 2005 Time magazine named Singer one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute ranked him 3rd among Global Thought Leaders for 2013. (He has since slipped to 36th.) He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life doctrine in bioethic
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Peter Singer Is capitalism unethical? Well, compared to what? As we are not all able to be self-sufficient, we need to have ways of producing and exchanging goods.…moreIs capitalism unethical? Well, compared to what? As we are not all able to be self-sufficient, we need to have ways of producing and exchanging goods. Free-market systems seem to be more successful at encouraging the production of goods that people want than any other system we know about. At the same time, they do have enormous costs. They produce great inequality, and impose external costs on 3rd parties - ie, people who are not party to the transaction. Climate change is a result of that kind of external cost - the harm done to others by greenhouse gas emissions is not priced into the cost of the goods sold. For another example of the problems capitalism can cause, read Nicholas Kristof's column on Angola in today's New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/opi...)
Despite the serious problems capitalism causes, I come back to the question: what are the alternative? Attempts to replace capitalism, on a large scale, have led to something even worse. There was just as much inequality in the USSR as there is in the USA today (maybe not in monetary terms, but in terms of power and privileges).
I'm waiting for someone to, first, describe a better system than capitalism, and second, set out a realistic path for getting from here to there. When that happens, it will be worth thinking harder about the ethical flaws in capitalism, Until then, as I argue in my new book, The Most Good You Can Do, there is a huge amount we can all do, within the current economic system, to make the world a much better place.(less)
Peter Singer Knowing that people are reading my books, and better still, that some of them are changing their lives because of them.
Average rating: 4.03 · 34,149 ratings · 3,139 reviews · 133 distinct worksSimilar authors
Animal Liberation

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The Life You Can Save: Acti...

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Practical Ethics

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More books by Peter Singer…

We should end the suffering of patients who know they are dying and want to do so peacefully

T he Victorian and New South Wales governments are considering whether to introduce legislation to allow voluntary assistance in dying. I support legislation, with adequate safeguards against abuse, to achieve this objective.
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Peter Singer answered Fab's question: Peter Singer
Is capitalism unethical? Well, compared to what? As we are not all able to be self-sufficient, we need to have ways of producing and exchanging goods. Free-market systems seem to be more successful at encouraging the production of goods that people w See Full Answer
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“To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, and the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbors not to sell their houses to blacks.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

“All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals.”
Peter Singer

“If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

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