I’m a research fellow at the Global Priorities Institute, Oxford. The purpose of this blog is to use academic research to drive positive change within and around the effective altruism movement. Discussions are long-form and structured around thematic series. Subscribe below for weekly posts.
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Mistakes in the moral mathematics of existential risk (Part 1: Introduction and cumulative risk)
Many authors give alarmingly high estimates of the value of existential risk mitigation. In this series based on my paper of the same name, I discuss three mistakes in the moral mathematics of existential risk that unduly inflate estimates of the value of existential risk mitigation.
Epistemics: (Part 2: Examples)
In this post, I look at some ways in which examples are systematically misused in discussions by effective altruists. I focus on two cases: Aum Shinrikyo and the Biological Weapons Convention.
Billionaire philanthropy: (Part 5: Sources of wealth)
When reflecting on the harms and benefits of donations to effective altruist causes, it is important to ask where the donated wealth comes from. In this post, I look at some challenges raised by key sources of wealth for effective altruist causes.
Epistemics (Part 1: Introduction)
Effective altruists use the term `epistemics’ to describe practices that shape knowledge, belief and opinion within a community. This series focuses on areas in which community epistemic could be productively improved. In this post, I introduce the series by giving three examples of the topics that I will be concerned about.
The good it promises, the harm it does (Part 3: Carol J. Adams)
Carol J Adams proposes that effective altruists can learn valuable lessons from the feminist tradition of care ethics. I discuss two concrete lessons and sketch a care ethical approach.
Billionaire philanthropy: (Part 4: Motivations)
What drives billionaires to give? Why are many members of the public suspicious of a gap between philanthropists’ actual and stated motivations? And if wealthy philanthropists are often driven by more than pure altruism, what might this imply for the role of billionaire philanthropy in society today?