Coursera: Effective Altruism

 with  Peter Singer
Effective altruism is built on the simple but unsettling idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good one can. In this course you will examine this idea's philosophical underpinnings; meet remarkable people who have restructured their lives in accordance with it; and think about how effective altruism can be put into practice in your own life.



Getting Started
In this week, we will give those of you who do not have a background in philosophy, or who need a refresher, an opportunity to study two areas of ethics: meta-ethics and normative ethical theories.

Poverty and Affluence, Part 1
What obligations do the affluent have towards those who live in extreme poverty? In this week, we look at one distinct argument based on consequentialist ethics, and also begin the discussion of the effectiveness of aid programs. This week also includes a conversation with Raymond Offenheiser.

Poverty and Affluence, Part 2
In this week we discuss poverty as human rights violations. You will also find a conversation with Dean Karlan about effective solutions to poverty problems in this week.

What is the Best Cause?
How do you get the most value for your charitable dollars? How can you compare different causes to each other, and how do you compare different charities to each other? The guest in this week is Elie Hassenfeld from GiveWell, an organization that tries to find the answers to these questions.

How Much Ought We Do to Help Others?
In this week you will meet three individuals who in different ways embody the ideal of effective altruism: Zell Kravinsky, Julia Wise and Alexander Berger.

Career Choice
In this week Will MacAskill and Matt Wage discuss effective altruism and career choice.

The Giving Game
In this week you will have the opportunity to play the Giving Game.

Why Act Ethically?
In this last week, we circle back to some foundational questions in ethics. What is the relationship between rationality, self-interest and ethics? How demanding is morality, and why exactly should be try to live an ethical life? In this week you will also find the final essay assignment.

4 Student
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Subject Philosophy
Institution Princeton University
Provider Coursera
Language English
Hours 2-5 hours a week
Calendar 9 weeks long
Sign up for free? Learn how

Disclosure: To support our site, Class Central may be compensated by some course providers.

+ Add to My Courses
FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

Reviews for Coursera's Effective Altruism
4.3 Based on 4 reviews

  • 5 stars 50%
  • 4 star 25%
  • 3 star 25%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

Write a review
  • 1
4.0 3 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
nice a very nice course it tells you that altruism can help you live a happy life and help others
2 people found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
5.0 10 months ago
by Cuneyt Anadolu completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
5.0 2 years ago
Peter Hartree completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
1 person found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
3.0 10 months ago
by Tonolmo completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

Class Central

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free