Thursday, January 21, 2016

Derek Parfit on Giving: Oxford Union

Derek Parfit's speech at the Oxford Union last year is linked below. Parfit's 1984 "Reasons and Persons" is a magnificent work that I will summarise here at a later stage. It is widely regarded as one of the most important works on moral philosophy, and it has substantial relevance to a number of questions in behavioural economics. His other major work "On What Matters", a 1400 page plus treatise, was published in 2011. In the speech below he outlines ethical arguments for international philanthropy. Several big questions are considered: how much of our income should we donate to charities?; why does it matter?; should we join aid agencies or maximise earnings and donate money? He explores several other related issues and engages in a lengthy Q+A.

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