Mapping morality: Peter Singer vs his critics

An exclusive interview with Peter Singer

In this exclusive interview with the Institute of Art and Ideas, in the run up to HowTheLightGetsIn London 2022, groundbreaking ethicist and philosopher Peter Singer clarifies his stance on moral objectivity, the role of intuitions in ethics and where we draw the line for holding people responsible for inaction.

 

In various interviews you have stated that you have moved from moral anti-realism - the view that there are no objective moral values - to moral realism - the view that there are objective moral truths. What initiated this shift?

For many years, after studying at Oxford, I considered myself a universal prescriptivist – the position taken by R.M. Hare, who was my supervisor for much of my time at Oxford. Hare always insisted that, even for prescriptivists, reason had an important role to play in reaching moral judgment. But the problem was for Hare, reason o

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