Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. Effective altruism encourages individuals to consider all causes and actions and to act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact, based upon their values. It is the broad, evidence-based approach that distinguishes effective altruism from traditional altruism or charity. Effective altruism is part of the larger movement towards evidence-based practices.
While a substantial proportion of effective altruists have focused on the nonprofit sector, the philosophy of effective altruism applies more broadly to prioritizing the scientific projects, companies, and policy initiatives which can be estimated to save lives, help people, or otherwise have the biggest benefit. People associated with the movement include philosopher Peter Singer, Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, Cari Tuna, Ben Delo, Oxford-based researchers William MacAskill and Toby Ord, professional poker player Liv Boeree, and writer Jacy Reese.
- 1 Philosophy
- 2 Behavior
- 3 Cause priorities
- 4 History as a social movement
- 5 Criticism
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes and references
- 8 Sources
- 9 Further reading
Effective altruism differs from other philanthropic practices because of its emphasis on quantitatively comparing charitable causes and interventions with the goal of maximizing certain human values. In this way it is similar to consequentialism, which some leaders of the movement explicitly endorse. The views of the philosopher Peter Singer in particular helped give rise to the effective altruist movement. Singer's book The Life You Can Save argued for the basic philosophy of effective giving, claiming that people have a moral imperative to donate more because of the existence of extreme poverty. In the book, Singer argued that people should use charity evaluators to determine how to make their donations most effective. Singer personally gives a third of his income to charity.
Effective altruists reject the view that some lives are intrinsically more valuable than others. For example, they believe that a person in a developing country has equal value to a person in one's own community. In the 1972 essay 'Famine, Affluence, and Morality', Peter Singer wrote:
It makes no difference whether the person I can help is a neighbor's child ten yards away from me or a Bengali whose name I shall never know, ten thousand miles away. ... The moral point of view requires us to look beyond the interests of our own society. Previously ..., this may hardly have been feasible, but it is quite feasible now. From the moral point of view, the prevention of the starvation of millions of people outside our society must be considered at least as pressing as the upholding of property norms within our society.
In addition, many effective altruists think that future generations have equal moral value to currently existing people, and focus on reducing existential risks to humanity. Others believe that the interests of non-human animals should be accorded the same moral weight as similar interests of humans and work to prevent the suffering of animals, such as those raised in factory farms.
Although there is a growing emphasis on effectiveness and evidence among nonprofits, this is usually done with a single cause in mind, such as education or climate change. Effective altruists, however, seek to compare the relative importance of different causes and choose one objectively, a concept that is usually referred to as cause neutrality. Effective altruists choose the highest priority causes based on whether activities in each cause area could efficiently advance broad goals, such as increasing human or animal welfare, and then focus their attention on interventions in high priority areas.
Several organizations perform research into the relative prioritization of causes. Some common priorities among effective altruists include poverty in the developing world, the suffering of animals in factory farms, and risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth.
Effective altruist organizations argue that some charities are far more effective than others, either because some do not achieve their goals or because of variability in the cost of achieving those goals. When possible, they seek to identify charities that are highly cost-effective, meaning that they achieve a large benefit for a given amount of money. For example, they select health interventions on the basis of their impact as measured by lives saved per dollar, quality-adjusted life years (QALY) saved per dollar, or disability-adjusted life years (DALY) averted per dollar. This measure of disease burden is expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death.
Some effective altruism organizations use randomized controlled trials as a primary form of evidence, as they are often considered to be at the highest level of strong evidence in healthcare research.
Effective altruists argue that counterfactual reasoning is important to determine which course of action maximizes positive impact. Many people assume that the best way to help people is through direct methods, such as working for a charity or providing social services, but since charities and social-service providers usually can find people willing to work for them, effective altruists compare the amount of good somebody does in a conventional altruistic career to how much good would have been done had the next-best candidate been hired for the position. According to this reasoning, the impact of a career may be smaller than it appears.
Room for more funding
Effective altruist organizations make philanthropic recommendations for charities on the basis of the impact from marginal funding rather than merely evaluating the average value of all donations to the charity. Effective altruists avoid donating to organizations that have no "room for more funding" – those that face bottlenecks other than money which prevent them from spending the funds they have already accumulated or are expected to receive. For example, a medical charity might not be able to hire enough doctors or nurses to distribute the medical supplies it is capable of purchasing, or it might already be serving all of the potential patients in its market. There are many other organizations which do have room for more funding, so giving to one of those instead would produce real-world improvements.
Effective altruism encourages significant charitable donation. Some believe it is a moral duty to alleviate suffering through donations if the purchases that one forgoes to donate do not cause comparable suffering to oneself, leading some of them to lead a frugal lifestyle in order to give substantially more than is typical in their society. Advocacy focuses on increasing the amount that people donate or identifying nonprofits that best meet the criteria of effective altruism, in particular cost-effectiveness, transparency and strong evidence.
Giving What We Can (GWWC) is an organization which hosts a community of individuals who have pledged to donate at least 10% of their income for the remainder of their working lives to the causes that they believe are the most effective. GWWC was founded in 2009 by Toby Ord, a moral philosopher at Oxford University, who lives on £18,000 ($27,000) per year and donates the remainder of his income to charity. As of 2019, more than 3,800 individuals have taken the pledge, who have collectively pledged to donate upwards of $1.5 billion over the course of their lifetimes.
The Founders Pledge is a similar system run by the nonprofit Founders Forum for Good where startup founders make a legally binding commitment to donate at least 2% of their personal proceeds to charity in the event that they sell their business. By January 2019, three years after launch, more than 1400 entrepreneur have pledged an estimated total value of $700 million based on the founders' equity and the companies' valuation and at least $91 million were raised.
Effective altruists argue that selection of one's career is an important determinant of the amount of good one does, both directly (through the services one provides to the world) and indirectly (through the ways one directs the money earned based on the career).
80,000 Hours is an organisation in the effective altruism community that conducts research on the careers with high positive social impact and provides career advice. It considers indirect methods of altruistic employment, such as earning a high salary in a conventional career and donating a portion of it, as well as direct practices, such as scientific research. It was co-founded by William MacAskill and Benjamin Todd.
The earning to give strategy has been proposed as a possible strategy for effective altruists. This strategy involves choosing to work in high-paying careers with the explicit goal of donating large sums of money to charity. Benjamin Todd and William MacAskill have argued that the marginal impact of one's potentially unethical actions in such a lucrative career would be small since someone else would have done them regardless, while the impact of donations would be large.
David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times, criticized effective altruists who adopt the strategy. He wrote that most people who work in finance and other high-paying industries value money for selfish reasons and that being surrounded by these people will cause effective altruists to become less altruistic. In The Week, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry argued that the practice was "unsettling".
Effective altruism aspires to be cause-neutral, meaning it is in principle open to helping in whichever areas allow them to do the most good. In practice, most people in the effective altruist movement have prioritized global poverty, animal welfare, and risks to the survival and flourishing of humanity and its descendants over the long-term future.
Global poverty alleviation
Global poverty alleviation has been a focus of some of the earliest and most prominent organizations associated with effective altruism.
Charity evaluator GiveWell was founded by Holden Karnofsky and Elie Hassenfeld in 2007 to address poverty and is part of the effective altruism community. GiveWell has argued that the value of donations is greatest for international poverty alleviation and developing world health issues, and its leading recommendations have been in these domains (including malaria prevention charities Against Malaria Foundation and Malaria Consortium, deworming charities Schistosomiasis Control Initiative and Deworm the World Initiative, and GiveDirectly for direct unconditional cash transfers).
The effective altruism organization The Life You Can Save, which originated from Peter Singer's book by the same name, also works to alleviate global poverty by promoting evidence-backed charities, conducting philanthropy education and changing the culture of giving in affluent countries.
While much of the initial focus of effective altruism was on direct strategies such as health interventions and cash transfers, there has also been interest in more systematic social, economic, and political reform that would facilitate larger long-term poverty reduction. In 2011, GiveWell announced GiveWell Labs, which was later renamed as the Open Philanthropy Project, for research and philanthropic funding of more speculative and diverse causes such as policy reform, global catastrophic risk reduction and scientific research. It is a collaboration between GiveWell and Good Ventures, a philanthropic foundation founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.
Many effective altruists believe that reducing animal suffering should be a major priority and that, at the current margin, there are cost-effective ways of accomplishing this. Peter Singer quotes estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the British organization Fishcount according to which 60 billion land animals are slaughtered and between 1 and 2.7 trillion individual fish are killed each year for human consumption. He argues that effective animal welfare altruists should prioritize factory farming over more overfunded popular causes such as pet welfare. Singer also argues that, if farm animals such as chickens are assigned even a modicum of consciousness, efforts to reduce factory farming (for example, by reducing global meat consumption) could be an even more underfunded and cost-effective way of reducing current global suffering than human poverty reduction. Philosophically, wild animal suffering may be an additional moral concern for effective altruists.
Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) is an effective altruism organization that evaluates and compares various animal charities based on their cost-effectiveness and transparency, particularly those that are tackling factory farming. Faunalytics (formerly the Humane Research Council) is an organization loosely affiliated with the effective altruism community that conducts independent research on important animal welfare topics, provides resources for advocates and donors, and works with animal protection organizations to evaluate their work.
Long term future and global catastrophic risks
Focusing on the long-term future, some effective altruists believe that the total value of any meaningful metric (wealth, potential for suffering, potential for happiness, etc.) summed up over future generations, far exceeds the value for people living today. In particular, the importance of addressing existential risks such as dangers associated with biotechnology and advanced artificial intelligence is often highlighted and the subject of active research. Because it is often infeasible to use empirical science (such as randomized control trials) to measure the probability of an existential risk, researchers such as Nick Bostrom have used other methods such as expert opinion elicitation to estimate their importance.
Some organizations that work actively on research and advocacy for improving the long term future, and have connections with the effective altruism community, are the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, and the Future of Life Institute. In addition, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute is focused on the more narrow mission of aligning advanced artificial intelligence.
Many ideas behind effective altruism, such as consequentialism, have been present in practical ethics for a long time and have been reflected in the writings of philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Peter Singer, and Peter Unger. A basic argument for altruism was defined in Singer's 1972 paper "Famine, Affluence, and Morality", in which he argued that people have an obligation to help those in need:
If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, then we ought, morally, to do it.
However, the movement identifying with the name 'effective altruism' itself only came into being in the late 2000s as a community formed around the groups Giving What We Can and GiveWell. It has since been growing in size. The Internet forum LessWrong also played a role in the development of the movement.
Effective altruism conferences have been held since 2013. In 2015, Peter Singer published The Most Good You Can Do, a book on effective altruism. The book describes the philosophy and social movement of effective altruism and argues in favor of it. In the same year William MacAskill published his book Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference which helped to further popularize the movement. MacAskill also co-founded Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours, both of which are part of the Centre for Effective Altruism.
In 2018, American news website Vox launched its Future Perfect section, publishing written pieces and podcasts that cover effective altruism ideas on the mission of "Finding the best ways to do good". Vox's Future Perfect has since written extensively about core effective altruism topics such as effective philanthropy, high-impact career choice, poverty reduction, animal welfare improvements, and ways to reduce global catastrophic risks.
Claims that comparisons within and across cause areas are illegitimate
David Brooks has questioned whether children in distant countries should be treated as having equal moral value to nearby children. He claims that morality should be "internally ennobling". In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Ken Berger and Robert Penna of Charity Navigator condemned effective altruism's practice of "weighing causes and beneficiaries against one another", calling this "moralistic, in the worst sense of the word".
Claims of a bias toward measurable interventions
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry warns about the "measurement problem", stating that some areas, such as medical research, or helping to reform third-world governance "one grinding step at a time", are hard to measure with controlled cost-effectiveness experiments and therefore risk being undervalued by the effective altruism movement. Jennifer Rubenstein also hypothesizes that effective altruism can be biased against causes that are not straightforward to measure.
Alleged failures to tackle the roots of problems
In Jacobin magazine, Mathew Snow argued that effective altruism "implores individuals to use their money to procure necessities for those who desperately need them, but says nothing about the system that determines how those necessities are produced and distributed in the first place". Various critics have similarly objected to effective altruism on the basis of the fact that its proponents tend not to support political causes such as anti-capitalism that change "the existing global institutional order". Joshua Kissel has replied that anti-capitalism is compatible with effective altruism in theory, while adding that effective altruists and anti-capitalists have reason to be more sympathetic to each other. Brian Berkey has also argued that support for changing institutions such as capitalism does not contradict the principles of effective altruism, because effective altruism is open to any action that will have the greatest positive impact on the world, including the possibility of changing the existing global institutional order. Elizabeth Ashton argues that we are separately obligated to donate to effective aid charities and to reform the structures that are responsible for poverty.
Notes and references
- MacAskill, William (January 31, 2017). "Effective Altruism: Introduction". Essays in Philosophy. 18 (1): 2. doi:10.7710/1526-0569.1580. ISSN 1526-0569.
- Matthews, Dylan (April 24, 2015). "You have $8 billion. You want to do as much good as possible. What do you do?". Vox. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Bennett, Nicole; Carter, Ashley; Resney, Romney; Woods, Wendy. "How Tech Entrepreneurs Are Disrupting Philanthropy". BCG Perspectives. Boston Consulting Group. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- MacAskill, William (2015). Doing Good Better. Avery. ISBN 978-1592409105.
- Walters, Helen. "The why and how of effective altruism: Peter Singer's talk visualized". TED Blog.
- "Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz: Young Silicon Valley billionaires pioneer new approach to philanthropy". The Washington Post. December 26, 2014.
- Callahan, Favid (September 12, 2013). "Meet Cari Tuna, the Woman Giving Away Dustin Moskovitz's Facebook Fortune". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- Piper, Kelsey (May 29, 2019). "Britain's youngest self-made billionaire is giving away his fortune — to people who don't exist yet". Vox. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
- Thompson, Derek (June 15, 2015). "The Greatest Good". The Atlantic.
- "Peter Singer: "The Most Good You Can Do" | Talks at Google". YouTube.
- "News: Liv Boeree on Effective Altruism". www.pokerstrategy.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "Effective Altruism | Liv Boeree". www.livboeree.com. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "This Think Tank Wants to End Factory Farming". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- Jollimore, Troy (February 6, 2017). "Impartiality". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Kristof, Nicholas (April 4, 2015). "The Trader Who Donates Half His Pay". New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- "Famine, Affluence, and Morality" (PDF). 1972. p. 231. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 6, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Todd, Benjamin (October 24, 2017). "Presenting the long-term value thesis". 80000 Hours. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- Skelton, Anthony (2016). "The Ethical Principles of Effective Altruism". Journal of Global Ethics. 12 (2): 137–146. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "Why Farmed Animals?". Animal Charity Evaluators. November 2016.
- Gabriel, Iason (2016). "Effective Altruism and Its Critics". Journal of Applied Philosophy. 33 (3). doi:10.1111/japp.12176. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Oliver, Huw. "'Effective Altruists' Are a New Type of Nice Person". Vice. Vox. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- MacAskill, William (May 20, 2013). "What is Effective Altruism?". Practical Ethics blog. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- "Understanding cause-neutrality - Centre for Effective Altruism". Centre for Effective Altruism. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "List of the most urgent global problems". 80,000 Hours. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- "Cause Selection | Open Philanthropy Project". www.openphilanthropy.org. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- "Your dollar goes further when you fund the right program". GiveWell.
- "Your Dollar Goes Further Overseas". GiveWell.
- A guide to the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical practice guidelines. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia: National Health and Medical Research Council. 1998. pp. 21–25. ISBN 1864960485.
- Rosato, Donna; Wong, Grace (November 2011). "Best jobs for saving the world". CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
- Todd, Benjamin. "Which Ethical Careers Make a Difference?: The Replaceability Issue in the Ethics of Career Choice". University of Oxford. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "'Replaceability' isn't as important as you might think (or we've suggested)". 80,000 Hours. 2015-07-27. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Zhang, Linch (June 21, 2016). "How Can You do the Most Good with Your Charitable Giving? This Expert's Answers Might Surprise You". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- Karnofsky, Holden. "We Should Expect Good Giving To Be Hard (SSIR)". Stanford Social Innovation Review. Stanford University. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- "Room for More Funding | GiveWell". www.givewell.org. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Burton, Paul (October 13, 2015). "Family Gives Away Half Their Income To Help Others". Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "Our Criteria for Top Charities | GiveWell". www.givewell.org. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
- Geoghegan, Tom (December 13, 2010). "Toby Ord: Why I'm giving £1m to charity". BBC News. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- "Giving What We Can". www.givingwhatwecan.org. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
- "1000 people match Oxford philosopher's '10% of future income' charity pledge". University of Oxford. July 15, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- MacAskill, William (November 26, 2015). "One of the most exciting new effective altruist organisations: An interview with David Goldberg of the Founders Pledge". 80,000 Hours. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Prosser, David (10 June 2015). "Entrepreneurs Pledge Millions To Social Good". Forbes. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- Butcher, Mike (June 9, 2015). "UK Tech Founders Take The Founders Pledge To 2%, Committing $28m+ To Good Causes". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
- Paynter, Ben (2018-09-25). "Why nonprofits should be courting entrepreneurs as donors". Fast Company. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
- William, MacAskill, (2014). "Replaceability, Career Choice, and Making a Difference". Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. doi:10.1007/s10677-013-9433-4. ISSN 1386-2820.
- Matthews, Dylan (2018-11-28). "How to pick a career that counts". Vox. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- "Want To Make An Impact With Your Work? Try Some Advice From 80,000 Hours". TechCrunch. August 4, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- Alcorn, Stan (June 4, 2013). "How To Choose An Ethical Career (With Help From Oxford Philosophers)". Co.Exist. Fast Company Inc. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "Meet the team". 80,000 Hours. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
- Todd, Benjamin (April 2017). "Why and how to earn to give". 80,000 Hours.
- Matthews, Dylan. "Join Wall Street. Save the world". Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Brooks, David (June 3, 2013). "The Way to Produce a Person". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
- Gobry, Pascal-Emmanuel (March 16, 2015). "Can Effective Altruism really change the world?". The Week. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
- Kissel, Joshua (January 31, 2017). "Effective Altruism and Anti-Capitalism: An Attempt at Reconciliation". Essays in Philosophy . Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Muehlhauser, Luke (July 8, 2013). "Four focus areas of effective altruism - Effective Altruism Forum". forum.effectivealtruism.org. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
- Karnofsky, Holden (August 13, 2013). "Effective Altruism". GiveWell. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Konduri, Vimal. "GiveWell Co-Founder Explains Effective Altruism Frameworks". The Harvard Crimson. The Harvard Crimson, Inc. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
- Wolfe, Alexandra (November 24, 2011). "Hedge Fund Analytics for Nonprofits". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg LP. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "Doing good by doing well". The Economist. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
- Pitney, Nico (March 26, 2015). "That Time A Hedge Funder Quit His Job And Then Raised $60 Million For Charity". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Zhang, Linch (March 17, 2017). "How To Do Good: A Conversation With The World's Leading Ethicist". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
- "About The Life You Can Save non-profit organization". www.thelifeyoucansave.org. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Weathers, Scott (29 February 2016). "Can 'effective altruism' change the world? It already has". Transformation. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- "Focus Areas | Open Philanthropy Project". www.openphilanthropy.org. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Karnofsky, Holden (September 8, 2011). "Announcing GiveWell Labs". GiveWell. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- "Who We Are | Open Philanthropy Project". www.openphilanthropy.org. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Karnofsky, Holden (August 20, 2014). "Open Philanthropy Project (formerly GiveWell Labs)". GiveWell. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Moses, Sue-Lynn (9 March 2016). "Leverage: Why This Silicon Valley Funder Is Doubling Down on a Beltway Think Tank". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- Whittlestone, Jess (November 16, 2017). "Cause Profile: Animal Welfare". Effective Altruism. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Banis, Davide. "New Book Draws Detailed Roadmap Of How We Can End Animal Farming". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- "Fish: the forgotten victims on our plate". The Guardian. 2010-09-14. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Global Warming Climate Change and Farm Animal Welfare (PDF). Compassion in World Farming. 2008.
- Mood, Alison (2010). Worse things happen at sea: the welfare of wild-caught fish (PDF). fishcount.org.uk.
- Singer 2015, pp. 138, 146–147.
- ""Effective Altruism for Animals" Panel, Animal Studies". New York University Animal Studies Initiative. NYU. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- Piper, Kelsey (2018-11-27). "Where will your donations do the most for animals?". Vox. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Daniel Engber, "Save the Chicken", Slate, August 18, 2016.
- Singer 2015, p. 139.
- Piper, Kelsey (2018-10-31). "Vegan diets are hard to sell. Animal activists might do better focused on corporate decisions, not people's plates". Vox. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- "What We Do". Faunalytics. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Todd, Benjamin (October 24, 2017). "If you want to do good, here's why future generations should be your focus". 80,000 Hours. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- "The Importance of the Far Future". Effective Altruism Foundation. Effective Altruism Foundation. August 5, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Bostrom, Nick (2003). "Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development" (PDF). Utilitas. 15: 308–314.
- Todd, Benjamin (2017). "Why despite global progress, humanity is probably facing its most dangerous time ever". 80,000 Hours. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Rowe, Thomas; Beard, Simon (2018). "Probabilities, methodologies and the evidence base in existential risk assessments" (PDF). Working paper, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Guan, Melody (19 April 2015). "The New Social Movement of our Generation: Effective Altruism". Harvard Political Review. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- Piper, Kelsey (2018-12-21). "The case for taking AI seriously as a threat to humanity". Vox. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
- Basulto, Dominic (July 7, 2015). "The very best ideas for preventing artificial intelligence from wrecking the planet". Washington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- Ram, Aliya (December 4, 2015). "The power and efficacy of effective altruism". Financial Times. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
- Rubenstein, Jennifer (14 December 2016). "The Lessons of Effective Altruism". Ethics & International Affairs. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Singer, Peter (April 1, 2015). "The Most Good You Can Do". The Life You Can Save. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- de Lazari-Radek, Katarzyna; Singer, Peter (September 27, 2017). Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 110.
- Pitney, Nico (July 16, 2015). "Elon Musk To Address 'Nerd Altruists' At Google HQ". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "Jaan Tallinn's Keynote - Effective Altruism Summit 2013". Exponential Times. November 13, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Shariatmadari, David (August 20, 2015). "Doing Good Better by William MacAskill review – if you read this book, you'll change the charities you donate to". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- Cowen, Tyler (August 14, 2015). "Effective Altruism: Where Charity and Rationality Meet". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- Matthews, Dylan (2018-10-15). "Future Perfect, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- "Future Perfect". www.vox.com. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Matthews, Dylan (2015-12-01). "These are the charities where your money will do the most good". Vox. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Illing, Sean (2018-11-05). "Want less poverty in the world? Empower women". Vox. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
- Piper, Kelsey (November 19, 2018). "How technological progress is making it likelier than ever that humans will destroy ourselves". Vox. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- Berger, Ken; Penna, Robert (November 25, 2013). "The Elitist Philanthropy of So-Called Effective Altruism". Stanford Social Innovation Review. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
- Snow, Mathew (August 25, 2015). "Against Charity". Jacobin. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
- Berkey, Brian (2018). "The Institutional Critique of Effective Altruism" (PDF). Utilitas. 30 (2). Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Ashford, Elizabeth (2018). "Severe Poverty as an Unjust Emergency". The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy: 103–148. doi:10.1093/oso/9780190648879.001.0001.
- Singer, Peter (2015), The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-18027-5
- Peter Unger (1996). Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence. ISBN 978-0195108590
- Shelly Kagan (1991). The Limits of Morality. ISBN 978-0198239161
- Peter Singer (2009). The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. ISBN 978-1-4000-6710-7
- William MacAskill (2015). Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference. Avery, ISBN 978-1592409105
- Richard Karut (2016). Altruism. Stanford Enclyclopedia of Philosophy.