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Online Course

Effective Altruism

Princeton University via Coursera

(7)
3.6k
Found in Ethics Courses
  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Effort 2-5 hours a week
  • Duration 6 weeks long
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Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

Overview

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.

All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion.

Syllabus

Getting Started with the Course
-This week we share what this course is about. 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
-What obligations do the affluent have towards those who live in extreme poverty? 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. Furthermore, 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 Much Ought We Do to Help Others?
-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? One of the guests this week is Elie Hassenfeld from GiveWell, an organization that tries to find the answers to these questions. This week you will also meet three individuals who in different ways embody the ideal of effective altruism: Zell Kravinsky, Julia Wise and Alexander Berger.

Effective Altruism and Career Choice
-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 trying to live an ethical life? In this week you will also find the final essay assignment.

Now that you have reached the end of the course, we would also very much appreciate your feedback. You may either submit a review on Class Central by going to https://www.classcentral.com/course/effectivealtruism-3446 — which will also help other learners discover the course — or send us an email to learnonline@princeton.edu. Thank you!

Taught by

Peter Singer

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Reviews for Coursera's Effective Altruism Based on 7 reviews

  • 5 stars 57%
  • 4 star 14%
  • 3 stars 29%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Kristina Š
by Kristina completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I tend to like courses that do the recordings for the course anew more, since recording existing lectures seems a bit lazy. However, these lectures were interesting, but sometimes it was difficult to hear audience questions. There are no assignments except for one essay, and the course does not offer certificates. The issues learned are important, but I was expecting more ethics and philosophical issues, rather than presenting people and charities, it seemed more like advertising certain charities. However, there is a nice exercise in which you have to pick a charity, but the discussion forums were empty, there were no mentors, and there was no one to discuss the choice with. This course would be better in a session-based system, and with more theoretical issues rather than just talks.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Elizabeth S
by Elizabeth completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course is essential for personal development and for anyone wanting a practical understanding of ethical philosophy. I took this course initially for academic reasons. However, the thought-provoking material of this course cannot help but move you personally. It is a course I will be contemplating for a lifetime to come.
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Anonymous
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
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Helena M
Helena completed this course.
This course is a wonderfully concise exploration of key considerations in ethics, and how taking an ethical approach to life may or may not serve you, depending on your personal point of view. In a time of individuality and self-interest, this is a refreshing way to consider how everyone, large and small, rich and poor, can and does impact the world. How aware are you of the impact you already have and deliberately can have? Can you be successful AND an effective altruist? Laden with fascinating old school philosophy and modern day approaches to charity economics, this course is both reflective and practical, including how to find and use tools to help prioritise where to invest charity money to make sure each dollar goes as fas as it can to improve and save lives. Thank you.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Cuneyt A
by Cuneyt completed this course.
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Peter H
Peter completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Tonolmo T
by Tonolmo completed this course.
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