Chapter

Poverty Is No Pond

Leif Wenar

in Giving Well

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199739073
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855872 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739073.003.0007
Poverty Is No Pond

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This chapter begins with the question of an individual donor: How will each dollar I can give to aid, or each hour I can devote to campaigning for aid, affect the long‐term well‐being of people in other countries? To answer this question, the chapter investigates the complex causal nexus between affluent individuals and people living in extreme poverty. This analysis shows that answering the donor's question will not be easy. It is difficult to get reliable information about the effects of giving, and some giving may harm as well as help. The chapter concludes that this analysis forces us to go beyond Peter Singer's well‐known principle that directs individuals to help when they know they can. Individuals who understand the urgency of severe poverty abroad must reason differently about how they will respond.

Keywords: aid; harm; international ethics; Peter Singer; philanthropy; severe poverty

Chapter.  13442 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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