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CPP Colloquim with Eamon Aloyo: Effective Altruism, Over-demandingness, and a Defense of a Progressive Giving Principle

Thursday 7 November 2019
CPP Colloquia 2019-2020
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

The Center for Political Philosophy in Leiden is pleased to announce a talk by

Eamon Aloyo

Effective Altruism, Over-demandingness, and a Defense of a Progressive Giving Principle


How much should someone donate to charity, and why? Peter Singer (1972) famously advances a strong and a moderate principle of sacrifice. William MacAskill, Andreas Mogensen, and Toby Ord (2018) propose an alternative principle. They argue that nearly everyone in the top half of income earners in wealthy countries should give away at least 10% of their income to effective charities. They claim the main advantage of this principle compared with either of Singer’s is that it avoids the over-demandingness objection. I raise three objections against their principle and propose an alternative principle that can overcome these objections. The first objection is that MacAskill, Mogensen, and Ord’s proposal fails on its own terms because it can be demanding for more middle class people than they acknowledge to donate 10% of their income if their purchasing power is diminished by, say, residing in a location with high costs of living. Second, it’s unfair to use a 10% donating floor for middle class and for the (super-)rich, as the (super-)rich should have a high giving floor, if we judge ease of giving based on probable wellbeing after giving. Third, focusing exclusively on income rather than purchasing power is problematic because it fails to capture the enormous wealth of the (very) rich. I propose an alternative principle based on a progressive giving principle that requires donating a larger percentage of one’s income or net wealth as one’s purchasing power increases that can consistently overcome the demandingness objection.


Eamon Aloyo is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. He is interested in a range of issues at the intersection of international relations and political philosophy, such as the responsibility to protect (R2P), just war theory, human rights, environmental politics and ethics, and global justice.

About the Center for Political Philosophy (CPP) Colloquia Series

The CPP is a collaboration between the Institute for Philosophy and the Institute for Political Science at Leiden University. Attendance of the Colloquia is free and there is no need to register. See CPP for more information. For further questions please contact dr. Wouter Kalf at w.f.kalf@hum.leidenuniv.nl

All are welcome!

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