Excellent material on a much needed topic. The course brought together a good number of strong and important ideas, well backed by research and with very interesting and relevant guest speakers.
Very insightful course, opened my eyes to the importance of an indepth analysis when considering charitable donations. Also introduced valuable resources when considering how and what to give.
par George J•
par Gary A•
I love it!
par AMJITH S•
I took this course to suppliment Professor Paul Bloom's course "Moralities of Everyday Life." That was an entertaining course, and Professor Bloom spoke of Peter Singer as having a massive influence on his ideas, so I chose to check this one out to see what it's about.I'm grateful for "Effective Altruism" course because it shined light on some important considerations that are often overlooked when deciding how to give charity. It was eye-opening and counter-cultural. He does not tell us "follow your heart to do the most good." Proffesor Singer also does not believe that empathy and seeing the people you help as individuals is necessary to do good. Instead, he believes that it is our duty to try to do what will bring the most benefit to the most people.I can see how some people might be put off by the dispassionate nature of this course's content. The "effective" in "effective altruism" is key here. If you want guidance into what charities will produce the best results, this is for you; if you are looking for guidance into how to love others indiscriminately and find the drive to work towards it in your life, I would instead recommend the course "Love as a Force for Social Justice" from Stanford.There was some discussion of the philosophy behind altrusim and morality, but this was an overall practical class. Professor Singer's brought in real life examples of people who engage in effective altrusim, and he introduced certain charities and organizations to us to learn how they operate behind the scenes. In the former cases, the lectures appeared to be recorded in his actual classes he taught, so a "live" Q&A was possible between the students and the guests.There are many information-packed reading suggestions, although reading is not required to get the course certificate. Some of the articles were easy to access online. Others, it appeared the only way to get them was in print. They were packed with facts and opinions. Although I finished the course, I'm still trying to read through all these interesting and pertinent articles.Taken as a whole, it was thought-provoking and undeniably vital in developing my strategy for how I donate to charities. However, are certain cardinal assumptions that I felt may have been overstated and simplistically presented. For example, overwhelming, the focus was on developing countries' plights (e.g. malaria, HIV/Aids, undernourishment), "effective" often seemed implicitly defined by "the number of lives saved" not improved, and the gain versus cost monetary-wise was the way that it was measured. This rubbed me the wrong way as a sustainability major; when the focus was on saving the most lives possible immediately and solely through how money is spent, it seemed to make sacrifices in other important areas- resource allocation, nested power struggles, and soil health to name a few- for fighting poverty.This is certainly a great course to begin learning about the steps you can take towards effective altruism, but it is also not an end point. The ideas presented here for making the greatest impact are just that- opinions and ideas. Use the tools and knowledge and experience and skills you have in addition to the suggestions and resources in this course to decide how you will engage in "effective altruism."Thank you for taking the time to create this, Professor Singer and all that took part.
par David D•
Fairly well presented in that different points of view on the questions were put forward. I found it interesting and informative to learn how better to choose compare and charities.
Unfortunately there seems to be a dominate premise. That is this course insists one must give up the maximum part of ones income to 'charities' who will do the job to help others for you. In this I disagree and have not changed fundamentally in my perception.
Having said that, one does come away with more motivation to think about and to act more altruistically as the occasions present themselves.
par EUGENIA Q•
This course allowed me to expand my way of seeing altruism. From the philosophical positions that can support it to the most practical and effective ways of carrying it out. From the what to the how, with deep and enriching experiences carried out by people and organizations. It gave me the opportunity to learn how to help others and motivated me to do it.
par Jacqueline C•
This course taught me about altruism, what the concept means and what altruism can look like in modern-day terms. It made me consider how I choose to spend money and provided resources for identifying effective charities to donate to.
par D Y•
Very strong concept, to take and employ in your day to day life. I found it very vital for not for profit work.
However, substantial philosophy knowledge is needed in order to really absorb and follow the argument.
par Ira R•
It was a very interesting and insightful course. I left each lecture thinking about my own life and choices, which is the point. Additionally, I found the readings useful; however, not all of the links worked.
par rafael h g v•
Me gusto mucho el curso, excelente material, excelente metodologia, aprendi mucho y quiero que muchas personas puedan aprovechar esta herramienta fabulosa de COURSERA para la divulgacion de los cursos
par Phoebe S•
Want to think and act in an broader and much more responsible way? They this course is for you.
par Margaret M•
Very well done. I would have liked it if there were more assignments.
par Juan G U•
par Philipp L•
I would have expected more academic background, but the course overall is very interesting.
par Jose L M C•
Deberia tener certificado
par Foivos I•
Too many lectures, specialized audience with huge competition, not accessible by novices of philosophy and only assessed through a single peer-reviewed assignment-essay.