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Ethics in the Real World

Peter Singer, Robert George, Princeton

October 18, 2016 · 6:00 pm8:00 pm EDT · 116 Nassau Street

Labyrinth Books
Australian philosopher Peter Singer poses for an portrait at Yale University Press office to promote his new book "The Most You Can Do", in London, Britain, June 11, 2015. Photograph taken June 11, 2015. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Tristan Martin - RTX1KBZW
Australian philosopher Peter Singer poses for an portrait at Yale University Press office to promote his new book "The Most You Can Do", in London, Britain, June 11, 2015.

Peter Singer is often described as the world’s most influential philosopher. He is also one of its most controversial. He helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the development of bioethics. Now, in Ethics in the Real World, Singer shows that he is also a master at dissecting important current events in a few hundred words. We invite you for what promises to be a lively and wide-ranging conversation between two renowned scholars who are both deeply engaged in the public sphere.

In this new book of brief essays, Singer applies his controversial ways of thinking to issues like climate change, extreme poverty, animals, abortion, euthanasia, human genetic selection, sports doping, the sale of kidneys, the ethics of high-priced art, and ways of increasing happiness. Singer asks whether chimpanzees are people, smoking should be outlawed, or consensual sex between adult siblings should be decriminalized, and he reiterates his case against the idea that all human life is sacred, applying his arguments to some recent cases in the news. In addition, he explores, in an easily accessible form, some of the deepest philosophical questions, such as whether anything really matters and what is the value of the pale blue dot that is our planet. The collection also includes some more personal reflections, like Singer’s thoughts on one of his favorite activities, surfing, and an unusual suggestion for starting a family conversation over a holiday feast.

Peter Singer is Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Professor at the University of Melbourne. He first became well known internationally in 1975 with the publication of Animal Liberation. His other books include How Are We to Live?; The Ethics of What We Eat; and The Most Good You Can Do. Robert George is Professor of Jurisprudence and Politics at Princeton. His books include In Defense of Natural LawMaking Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public MoralityThe Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis; and Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism.

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