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Castle Lecture Series: Peter Singer, Princeton University

Event time: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 8:00pm through 9:30pm
Event description: 

What is Effective Altruism?

Yale University’s Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics is pleased to announce that Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, will be delivering this year’s Castle Lecture Series, entitled “Effective Altruism.” Effective altruism is a new movement consisting of many individuals and several independent organizations, all focused on the deceptively simple idea that we should try to do as much good as we can. The first lecture, entitled “What is Effective Altruism?” will introduce the idea of effective altruism by way of effective altruists themselves, describing how they live, and why they have chosen to live that way. The second lecture, “Altruism,” will consider how altruism can emerge from evolutionary processes and how, paradoxically, acting in a manner that is genuinely altruistic can also be a good choice for ourselves. The third, “Effectiveness,” will explore the practical implications of effective altruism—if we are going to live altruistically, what should we do?

Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University; he also holds the part-time position of Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. He first became well-known internationally after the publication of his book Animal Liberation in 1975.  Since then he has written, co-authored, edited or co-edited more than 40 other books, including Practical Ethics; The Expanding Circle; How Are We to Live?; Rethinking Life and Death; The Ethics of What  We Eat (with Jim Mason); and most recently, The Life You Can Save. His works have appeared in more than 20 languages, and two collections of his writings have been published: Writings on an Ethical Life, which he edited, and Unsanctifying Human Life, edited by Helga Kuhse, and also two collections of critical essays, with responses: Singer and Critics, edited by Dale Jamieson, and Peter Singer Under Fire, edited by Jeffrey Schaler. In 2005 Time magazine named Peter Singer one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2011 Time included Animal Liberation on its “All-TIME” list of the 100 best nonfiction books published in English since the magazine began. In 2012, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the nation’s highest civic honour.

The Castle Lectures are sponsored by Yale’s Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics. They were endowed by John K. Castle to honor one of his ancestors, the Reverend James Pierpont, who was one of Yale’s original founders. The lectures are intended to promote an awareness of and sensitivity to ethical issues facing individuals in modern American society.

Event time:
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 4:00pm
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:00pm
Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 4:00pm

Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall
Wall Street
New Haven, CT

The Castle Lectures are free and open to the public. A reception will follow each of the lectures. For additional information, please contact Rob Blair at

Event type