The Australian philosopher on "effective altruism," immigration points systems and defining philosophyby Alex Dean / July 5, 2016 / Leave a comment
“A Swedish composer asked if he could use some words from my articles as lyrics for choral music. I said ‘fine,’ of course, and he went and composed it and it is somewhere online. I think on YouTube you can actually listen to it!”
Such is the influence of Peter Singer—arguably the best-known living philosopher. In an exclusive interview with Prospect the Australian thinker, now 69, mounted a defence of “Effective Altruism”—a movement he is the main proponent of.
Singer is a controversial figure—indeed, he has previously argued in Prospect that we should grant rights to the great apes. In our interview he offered his thoughts on the “Australian-style points-based migration system” championed by Brexiteers during the run-up to the EU referendum. “In Australia… I think the points system can work well. One issue is clearly ‘what points do you allocate for what?’… A points system may be fair or unfair depending upon how you allocate the points.”