Famine, Affluence, and Morality

by Peter Singer · read October 10, 2022


This essay sets forth a simple, challenging idea; concisely addresses some major objections; and leaves it at that. The blurb describes it as 'widely discussed' — I think I would enjoy the discussions more than I enjoyed the essay, but I'm still glad I read it.

The conclusion remains: we ought to be preventing as much suffering as we can without sacrificing something else of comparable moral importance. This conclusion is one which we may be reluctant to face. I cannot see, though, why it should be regarded as a criticism of the position for which I have argued, rather than a criticism of our ordinary standards of behavior.

Julia Cooke © 2023