Re: MEDIA/PHIL: Peter Singer profile

Robin Hanson (
Thu, 09 Dec 1999 16:21:39 -0500

k_aegis wrote:
>Probably those who follow bioethics will find nothing new, but it
>is a good summary of Peter Singers' present impact on public

I find the public reaction to Singer fascinating, because it sees to be basically a reaction to any coherent consequential philosophizing about ethics. While one might take issue with his details, people quoted in these articles seem to mainly object to Singer's insisting on various forms of consistency, that if you approve of one action with certain consequences, you should approve of another action. Singer is right: "medical ethics, a field he considered full of sloppy thinking." People have strong intuitions about what the right thing to do is, which they then just want to justify with a few words of rationalization before doing it. Having *any* coherent consequential approach is threatening to this status quo.

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323