Peter Singer and Alice Crary Debate Effective Altruism in the Wake of SBF’s Downfall, July 10

June 26, 2024
Shore Fire Media

Live Open to Debate Taping: “Does the Effective Altruism Movement Get Giving Right?”

Effective altruism is a philosophical and social movement that uses empirical data to maximize the impact of charitable efforts. Over the last decade, it has influenced billionaires such as Bill Gates, Dustin Moskovitz, and MacKenzie Scott and resulted in millions of dollars given to “high-impact charities” annually. However, after philosophical critiques and the downfall of one of effective altruism’s most visible advocates, Sam Bankman-Fried, some thought leaders are questioning whether E.A. is the best philanthropic model.

On July 10, award-winning debate series Open to Debate (formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S.) will tape a virtual debate on the question: “Does the Effective Altruism Movement Get Giving Right?”

Arguing “YES” is Princeton philosopher Peter Singer, co-founder of the effective altruism movement. Arguing “NO” is New School philosopher Alice Crary, editor of the forthcoming E.A. book The Good It Promises, the Harm It Does.

Those championing E.A. praise its methodological framework for ensuring charitable donations and efforts do the most good, based on rigorous analysis and evidence, which is practical and ethically obligatory for achieving the greatest positive impact while considering the needs of all individuals equally. Those challenging E.A. argue that its focus on quantifiable impacts can neglect hard-to-quantify important causes, such as human rights, social justice, and cultural preservation, which could lead to a narrow understanding of what constitutes a beneficial outcome.

While the debate will not be released widely until August via public radio, video and podcast, press are invited to attend and ask questions at the live virtual taping on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:00 PM ET. Media can email for virtual access.




* Peter Singer: Co-Founder of the Effective Altruism movement; Author of “The Most Good You Can Do”; Philosopher and Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University
Peter Singer has been called “the world’s most influential living philosopher”. He is the Emeritus Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and one of the philosophical influences behind the effective altruism movement. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of the treatment of animals, his critique of the sanctity of life doctrine in bioethics, and the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than fifty books, including “Animal Liberation”, which is widely considered to be the founding statement of the animal rights movement and was called one of TIME’s “All-TIME 100 Best Non-Fiction Books”, “Practical Ethics”, “The Life You Can Save”, which he named his charity after, and “The most Good you can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically.” For his work, Singer has received the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture and has been elected as a corresponding fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, inducted into the United States Animal Rights Hall of Fame, and appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.

* Alice Crary: Co-Editor of “The Good it Promises, The Harm it Does: Critical Essays on Effective Altruism”; University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research
Alice Crary is the University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research and a Visiting Fellow at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford. A moral and social philosopher, Crary has written widely on issues in metaethics, moral psychology and normative ethics, effective altruism, philosophy and literature, philosophy and feminism, critical animal studies, critical environmental studies, critical disability studies, and Critical Theory. She is the author of three books, including “Beyond Moral Judgement,” and has co-edited five collections, including “The Good It Promises, the Harm it Does: Critical Essays on Effective Altruism.” Crary is a founding co-convener of The Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Social Philosophy, which seeks to recognize groundbreaking philosophical work tackling questions of social epistemology, social ontology, theories of race, gender, class, ability, animality, and the natural environment. She is a member of a number of international research groups devoted to subjects such as ordinary language philosophy, social justice and critical theory, and feminism and philosophy.



Open to Debate addresses a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. We are the nation’s only nonpartisan, debate-driven media organization dedicated to bringing multiple viewpoints together for a constructive, balanced, respectful exchange of ideas. Open to Debate is a platform for intellectually curious and open-minded people to engage with others holding opposing views on complex issues. We know debate works to find common ground: On average, 32% of the Open to Debate audience changes their mind on contentious topics after hearing a debate. That’s the power of debate done right, and at scale, it can change the direction we’re headed in America. Open to Debate is broadcast as a weekly public radio program, carried on NPR stations including WNYC (#1 in the nation). Open to Debate is made available as a podcast, video series, and digital platform, and records episodes with live audiences nationwide. Visit to become a member, access an archive of more than 220 debates, and attend live events.


For more information on Open to Debate, contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media. For more information about the Council on Foreign Relations, please contact Jenny Mallamo ( or Maekara Keopanapay (