consumerism and philosophy

Controversial philosopher Peter Singer gets to the nub of consumer ethics using his ‘drowning kid’ thought experiment. I like the way it breaks down that barrier between the everyday banal choices we make about what we spend our money on, and our broader sense of what is right and what is wrong ‘in the world’. There are the obvious arguments against his analogy that would appeal to conceptions of direct and indirect responsibility for other people’s welfare. But I think he makes a stronger point about empathy and culpability for other people’s suffering, regardless of their physical location in relation to ourselves. A great recipe for buyer’s remorse!

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