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  • Author: Jakub Synowiec x
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Effective Altruism is a very new discipline. The first steps towards creating a community were made in 2009. Although the movement is young, it has already changed lives of many people and its popularity continues to rise. The idea of effective altruism is deeply rooted in philosophy, hence to understand it better an attempt will be made to reconstruct and present the philosophical framework of Effective Altruism. This part is intended to show the development of utilitarian thought that led to Effective Altruism. I intentionally limited this reconstruction to the views of Peter Singer, as his philosophy inspired many effective altruists, especially at the beginning of the movement. I have tried to show that his earliest works were the first steps on the way to effective altruism. In the second part selected details of the idea will be referred to in order to show the current state of development of this branch of utilitarianism. In the last part, selected doubts and critical remarks will be presented that might be inspiration to adapt Effective Altruism to specific conditions of Central and Eastern Europe. It will be argued that advocacy for Effective Altruism is a fair way for effective altruists in countries of Central and Eastern Europe.


The aim of the paper is to contribute to the debate on effective altruism. It is an attempt to present it as a universal moral proposition – not only a new charity model for the richest citizens of the world. The article starts with a definition of a hypothetical group of relatively-poor effective altruists. Their hypothetical living conditions and opportunities are juxtaposed with the theory of effective altruism developed by Peter Singer and William MacAskill and with career guides proposed by – one of the websites gathering effective altruists. In the last part, selected practices for relatively poor effective altruists are described. The conclusion of the paper is, that although most of the reflections behind the concept of effective altruism are developed for the richest people in the world, it is a universal ethical position that can be applied into lives of relatively poor people, whose contribution should not be underestimated.