Intertheoretic comparisons and effective altruism
What ought you to do if you are uncertain about which moral theory is correct? Plausibly, this depends on whether and how we can compare values across different theories. In this paper, I shall defend an answer to this latter question – viz., the view that moral theories posit value on an absolute scale, and are thus straightforwardly comparable. I shall then consider the implications of this view for our moral reasons to ‘do the most good’ in the ways in which effective altruists typically try to do so (e.g., following long-termism). I shall suggest that on this view, much more than on others, you ought to give weight to these reasons even if you antecedently find it implausible that they exist.
Date: 1 June 2018, 12:00 (Friday, 6th week, Trinity 2018)
Venue: Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe's Street OX1 1PT
Venue Details: Suite 5 - Petrov Room, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbes Street. At the entrance, buzz for the Future of Humanity Institute. Suite 5 is on the 1st floor.
Speaker: Dr Stefan Riedener (University of Zurich)
Organising department: Faculty of Philosophy
Organisers: Hayden Wilkinson (University of Oxford), Dr Michelle Hutchinson (University of Oxford), Prof Hilary Greaves (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: Global Priorities Seminars
Topics: Philosophy
Booking required?: Recommended
Booking email:
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Michelle Hutchinson