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Encyclopedia > Peter Singer
Western Philosophy
Contemporary philosophy
Singer lecturing at Oxford University.

Name Peter Singer is the name of: Peter Albert David Singer, the utilitarian philosopher Peter A. Singer, the physician and bioethicist Peter W. Singer, senior fellow on foreign policy at the Brookings Institution This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Western philosophy is a modern claim that there is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in ancient Greece (Greek philosophy) and the ancient Near East (the Abrahamic religions), that continues to this day. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 526 × 599 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,000 × 2,278 pixels, file size: 1. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ...

Peter Singer


July 6, 1946 (1946-07-06) (age 61) is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Analytic · Utilitarianism Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ... This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. ...

Main interests

Ethics For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ...


John Stuart Mill · Henry Sidgwick
R.M. Hare · Jeremy Bentham John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873), British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. ... Henry Sidgwick Henry Sidgwick (May 31, 1838–August 28, 1900) was an English philosopher. ... R.M. Hare Richard Mervyn Hare (March 21, 1919 – January 29, 2002) was an English moral philosopher, who held the post of Whites Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford from 1966 until 1983. ... Jeremy Bentham (IPA: ) (26 February [O.S. 15 February 15] 1748) – June 6, 1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. ...


Peter Unger · Colin McGinn
Roger Crisp · Iain King
Dale Jamieson · Gregory Pence Peter Unger is a modern philosopher, and professor at New York University. ... Colin McGinn (born 1950) is a British philosopher currently working at the University of Miami. ... Iain King (born 1971) is a contemporary British moral philosopher. ... Gregory Pence is a professor in the department of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. ...

Peter Albert David Singer (born July 6, 1946 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), University of Melbourne. He specializes in practical ethics, approaching ethical issues from a preference utilitarian perspective. is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre. ... VIC redirects here. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) at Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and University of Melbourne was established in 2000 as an Australian Research Council funded Special Research Centre and is the world’s largest concentration of applied philosophers. ... The University of Melbourne, is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. ... Preference utilitarianism is a particular variant of utilitarianism which defines utility in terms of preference satisfaction. ...

He has served, on two occasions, as chair of philosophy at Monash University, where he founded its Centre for Human Bioethics. In 1996, he ran unsuccessfully as a Green candidate for the Australian Senate. In 2004, he was recognized as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies. Robert Menzies Building at the Clayton Campus Monash University is a public university, with campuses located in Victoria, Malaysia and South Africa. ... The Centre for Human Bioethics is a research and teaching centre at Monash University, based in the Faculty of Arts. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... This article discusses Humanism as a non-theistic life stance. ... The Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS) is the national umbrella organisation for all Australian Humanist organisations. ...

Outside academic circles, Singer is best known for his book Animal Liberation, widely regarded as the touchstone of the animal liberation movement. His views on questions in bioethics have also attracted attention and controversy, particularly in the United States, Canada and Germany. Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals is a book by Australian philosopher Peter Singer. ... For the concept, see Animal rights The animal liberation movement or animal rights movement, sometimes called the animal personhood movement and animal advocacy movement, is the global movement of activists, academics, lawyers, campaigns, and organized groups who oppose the use of non-human animals in research, as food, as clothing...


Life and career

Singer's parents were Viennese Jews who escaped the German annexation of Austria and fled to Australia in 1938. His grandparents were less fortunate: his paternal grandparents were taken by the Nazis to Łódź, and were never heard from again; his maternal grandfather died in Theresienstadt.[1] Singer's father imported tea and coffee, while his mother practised medicine. He attended Scotch College. After leaving school, Singer studied law, history and philosophy at the University of Melbourne, gaining his degree in 1967. He received an MA for a thesis entitled Why should I be moral? in 1969. He was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Oxford, obtaining a B.Phil in 1971 with a thesis on civil disobedience, supervised by R. M. Hare, and subsequently published as a book in 1973.[2] For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... Motto: Ex navicula navis (From a boat, a ship) Coordinates: , Country Voivodeship Powiat city county Gmina Łódź City Rights 1423 Government  - Mayor Jerzy Kropiwnicki Area  - City 293. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other schools named Scotch College, see Scotch College. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... This article is about the study of the past in human terms. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... The University of Melbourne, is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. ... The University of Oxford (informally Oxford University), located in the city of Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil. ... R.M. Hare Richard Mervyn Hare (March 21, 1919 – January 29, 2002) was an English moral philosopher, who held the post of Whites Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford from 1966 until 1983. ...

After spending two years as a Radcliffe lecturer at University College, Oxford, he was visiting professor at New York University for 16 months. He returned to Melbourne in 1977, where he spent most of his career, apart from many visiting positions internationally until his move to Princeton in 1999. John Radcliffe. ... College name University College Collegium Magnae Aulae Universitatis Named after Established 1249 Sister College Trinity Hall Master Lord Butler of Brockwell JCR President Peter Surr Undergraduates 420 MCR President Monte MacDiarmid Graduates 144 Homepage Boatclub Crest of University College, Oxford University College (in full, the The Master and Fellows of... New York University (NYU) is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational research university in New York City. ...

Animal Liberation

Animal rights

Greg Avery · David Barbarash
Rod Coronado · Barry Horne
Ronnie Lee · Keith Mann
Ingrid Newkirk · Andrew Tyler
Jerry Vlasak · Robin Webb Animal liberation redirects here. ... Image File history File links Olive_baboon1. ... Greg Avery (born 1963), also known as Greg Jennings and Greg Harrison, is a British animal rights activist and co-founder of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an international campaign to force the closure of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), a controversial animal-testing company with bases in Huntingdon, England, and... David Barbarash was the North American press officer for the Animal Liberation Front between 2000 and 2003. ... Rod Coronado Rodney Adam Coronado is an American eco-anarchist and animal rights activist who has been convicted of arson, conspiracy and other crimes in connection with his activism but now advocates non-violent action. ... Barry Horne Barry Horne was a British animal rights activist who died of kidney failure in Ronkswood Hospital, Worcester on November 5, 2001, following a series of four hunger strikes while serving an 18-year sentence for planting incendiary devices. ... Ronnie Lee is a British animal rights activist, and founder of the Animal Liberation Front. ... Keith Mann is a British animal-rights campaigner, believed to be a senior Animal Liberation Front activist. ... PETAs president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk Ingrid Newkirk (born July 11, 1949) is a British-born animal rights activist, author, and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the worlds largest animal rights organization. ... Andrew Tyler is the director of Animal Aid, the UKs largest animal rights organization. ... Jerry Vlasak is a U.S. physician and prominent member of several controversial nonprofit organizations, including Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. ... Robin Webb runs the Animal Liberation Press Office in the UK, which releases material to the media on behalf of animal rights activists operating as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Animal Rights Militia (ARM), and the Justice Department. ...

Animal Aid
Animal Liberation Front
Animal Rights Militia
BUAV · Great Ape Project
Justice Department
PETA · Physicians Committee
Primate Freedom Project
Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs
SPEAK · SHAC · Viva!
Animal Aid logo Animal Aid is the United Kingdoms largest animal rights group and one of the longest established in the world, having been founded in 1977. ... Beagles stolen by British ALF activists from a testing laboratory owned by the Boots Group. ... The Animal Rights Militia (ARM) is a name used by animal-rights activists who are prepared to carry out acts of violence against human beings. ... The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection is a pressure group based near Highbury Corner in North London, United Kingdom that campaigns peacefully against vivisection. ... The logo of The Great Ape Project, which aims to expand moral equality to great apes, and to foster greater understanding of them by humans. ... The Justice Department is a militant animal-rights organization, set up in Britain in 1993, and active there and in the United States. ... People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals logo People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an animal rights organization based in the United States. ... The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research. ... The Primate Freedom Project is a 501(c)3 not for profit grassroots abolitionist animal rights organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. ... A dying guinea pig. ... SPEAK, the Voice for the Animals is a British animal rights campaign that aims to end animal experimentation and vivisection in the UK. Its current focus is opposition to a new animal testing center being built by Oxford University. ... A monkey inside Huntingdon Life Sciences in the United States. ... Viva!, or Vegetarians International Voice For Animals, Founded by Juliet Gellatley in 1995, is an animal-rights based organisation which promotes vegetarianism and veganism. ...

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
Animal liberation movement
Animal rights
Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act
Animal testing · Bile bear
Covance · Draize test
Factory farming
Great Ape research ban
Huntingdon Life Sciences
International trade in primates
Nafovanny · Open rescue
Operation Backfire · Primate testing
Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... For the concept, see Animal rights The animal liberation movement or animal rights movement, sometimes called the animal personhood movement and animal advocacy movement, is the global movement of activists, academics, lawyers, campaigns, and organized groups who oppose the use of non-human animals in research, as food, as clothing... Animal liberation redirects here. ... The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (ASPA) is a law passed by the U.K. parliament in 1986, which regulates the use of laboratory animals in the U.K. Fundamentally, actions that have the potential of causing pain, distress or lasting harm to animals are illegal in the U.K. under... For other uses, see Animal testing (disambiguation). ... A bile bear in Huizhou Farm, Vietnam. ... Covance (NYSE: CVD), formerly Hazleton Laboratories, with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the worlds largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies, according to its own website, with annual revenues over $1 billion, global operations in 17 countries, and approximately 6,700 employees worldwide. ... A rabbit allegedly going through a Draize test. ... The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. ... A Great Ape research ban, or severe restrictions on the use of non-human great apes in research, is currently in place in the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Japan, and has been proposed in Austria. ... Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) is a contract animal-testing company founded in 1952 in England, now with facilities in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and Eye, Suffolk in the UK; New Jersey in the U.S.; and in Japan. ... The international trade in primates sees 32,000 wild-caught primates sold on the international market every year. ... Nafovannys maternity clinic. ... Open rescue is a term for a form of direct action practiced by certain animal rights and animal welfare activists. ... Operation Backfire is an ongoing multi-agency criminal investigation, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), into violent acts in the name of animal rights and environmental causes in the United States [1]. // Background In 2004 the FBI merged seven independent investigations from its Portland, Oregon field office and... Filmed by PETA, Covance primate-testing lab, Vienna, Virginia, 2004-5. ... The relevance of particular information in (or previously in) this article or section is disputed. ...

Britches · Brown Dog affair
Cambridge University
Pit of despair · Silver Spring monkeys
Unnecessary Fuss Britches after being removed from the laboratory by the Animal Liberation Front Britches was the name given by researchers to a stumptail macaque monkey who was born into a breeding colony at the University of California, Riverside in March 1985. ... The Brown Dog affair was a controversy and cause célèbre for a brief period in Edwardian England, from 1903 to 1910, and revolving around vivisection and a statue erected in memory of a dog killed in the cause of medical research. ... A marmoset inside Cambridge University, filmed by BUAV The use of primates in experiments at Cambridge University is controversial, first coming to widespread public attention in the UK following undercover investigations lasting ten months in 1998 by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), the results of which... Harry Harlows pit of despair The pit of despair, or vertical chamber, was a device used in experiments conducted on rhesus macaque monkeys during the 1970s by American comparative psychologist Harry Harlow and his students at the University of Wisconsin. ... The Silver Spring monkeys were 17 monkeys kept in small wire cages inside the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, by Dr. Edward Taub, who was researching regeneration of severed nerves with a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). ... Unnecessary Fuss is the name of a film produced by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), showing footage shot inside the University of Pennsylvanias Head Injury Clinic in Philadelphia, described by the university as the longest standing and most respected center...

Steven Best · Stephen R.L. Clark
Gary Francione · Gill Langley
Tom Regan · Richard D. Ryder
Peter Singer · Steven M. Wise Image:Steven best. ... Dr. Stephen Clark Stephen Richard Lyster Clark (born October 30, 1945) is a British philosopher and international authority on animal rights, currently professor of philosophy and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. ... Gary Lawrence Francione (1954) is an American law professor at Rutgers University. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... Tom Regan (born November 28, 1938 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American philosopher and animal-rights activist. ... Richard D. Ryder (born 1940) is a British psychologist who, after performing psychology experiments on animals, began to speak out against the practice, and became one of the pioneers of the modern animal liberation and animal rights movements. ... Steven M. Wise is the author of Though the Heavens May Fall, a book concerning the 18th century trial in England which led to the abolition of slavery. ...

Behind the Mask · Earthlings Behind the Mask: The Story Of The People Who Risk Everything To Save Animals is a 2006 documentary film about the Animal Liberation Front. ... Earthlings is a 2005 multi-award winning documentary written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson and co-produced by Persia White. ...

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Published in 1975, Animal Liberation[3] was a major formative influence on the animal liberation movement. Although Singer rejects rights as a moral ideal independent from his utilitarianism based on interests, he accepts rights as derived from utilitarian principles, particularly the principle of minimizing suffering.[4] Singer allows that animal rights are not exactly the same as human rights, writing in Animal Liberation that "there are obviously important differences between human and other animals, and these differences must give rise to some differences in the rights that each have."[5] He began his book by defending against Mary Wollstonecraft's 18th-century critic Thomas Taylor, who argued that if Wollstonecraft's reasoning in defense of women's rights were correct, then "brutes" would have rights too. Taylor thought he had produced a reductio ad absurdum of Wollstonecraft's view; Singer regards it as a sound logical implication. Taylor's modus tollens is Singer's modus ponens.[improper synthesis?] Mary Wollstonecraft (circa 1797) by John Opie Mary Wollstonecraft (27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was a British writer, philosopher and feminist. ... Thomas Taylor (15 May 1758 - 1 November 1835) was an English translator and Neoplatonist, the first to translate into English the complete works of Aristotle and of Plato, as well as the Orphic fragments. ... Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: reduction to the absurd) also known as an apagogical argument, reductio ad impossibile, or proof by contradiction, is a type of logical argument where one assumes a claim for the sake of argument, derives an absurd or ridiculous outcome, and then concludes that the original assumption... In logic, Modus ponendo tollens (Latin for mode that affirms by denying) is the formal name for indirect proof or proof by contraposition (contrapositive inference), often abbreviated to MT. It can also be referred to as denying the consequent, and is a valid form of argument (unlike similarly-named but... In logic, modus ponens (Latin: mode that affirms; often abbreviated MP) is a valid, simple argument form. ...

In Animal Liberation, Singer argues against what he calls speciesism: discrimination on the grounds that a being belongs to a certain species. He holds the interests of all beings capable of suffering to be worthy of equal consideration, and that giving lesser consideration to beings based on their having wings or fur is no more justified than discrimination based on skin color. In particular, he argues that while animals show lower intelligence than the average human, many severely retarded humans show equally diminished, if not lower, mental capacity, and intelligence therefore does not provide a basis for providing nonhuman animals any less consideration than such retarded humans. Singer does not specifically contend that we ought not use animals for food insofar as they are raised and killed in a way that actively avoids the inflicting of pain, but as such farms are uncommon, he concludes that the most practical solution is to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet. Singer also condemns vivisection except the benefit (in terms of improved medical treatment, etc.) outweighs the harm done to the animals used.[6] The relevance of particular information in (or previously in) this article or section is disputed. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial... Equal consideration of interests is the name of a moral principle that states that one should both include all affected interests when calculating the rightness of an action and weigh those interests equally. ... For animals adapted to eat primarily plants, sometimes referred to as vegetarian animals, see Herbivore. ... Hens kept in cramped conditions — the avoidance of animal suffering is the primary motivation of people who become vegans A vegan is a person who avoids the ingestion or use of animal products. ... Etymologically, Vivisection refers to the dissection of, or any cutting or surgery upon, a living organism. ...

Applied ethics

His most comprehensive work, Practical Ethics,[7] analyzes in detail why and how beings' interests should be weighed. His principle of equal consideration of interests does not dictate equal treatment of all those with interests, since different interests warrant different treatment.[citation needed] All have an interest in avoiding pain, for instance, but relatively few have an interest in cultivating their abilities.[improper synthesis?] Not only does his principle justify different treatment for different interests, but it allows different treatment for the same interest when diminishing marginal utility is a factor, favoring, for instance, a starving person's interest in food over the same interest of someone who is only slightly hungry.[improper synthesis?] Practical Ethics is an introduction to applied ethics by modern bioethical philosopher Peter Singer. ...

Among the more important human interests are those in avoiding pain, in developing one's abilities, in satisfying basic needs for food and shelter, in enjoying warm personal relationships, in being free to pursue one's projects without interference, "and many others". The fundamental interest that entitles a being to equal consideration is the capacity for "suffering and/or enjoyment or happiness".[citation needed] He holds that a being's interests should always be weighed according to that being's concrete properties. He favors a 'journey' model of life, which measures the wrongness of taking a life by the degree to which doing so frustrates a life journey's goals. The journey model is tolerant of some frustrated desire and explains why persons who have embarked on their journeys are not replaceable. Only a personal interest in continuing to live brings the journey model into play. This model also explains the priority that Singer attaches to interests over trivial desires and pleasures.

He requires the idea of an impartial standpoint from which to compare interests. He has wavered about whether the precise aim is the total amount of satisfied interests or the most satisfied interests among those beings who already exist prior to the decision one is making. The second edition of Practical Ethics disavows the first edition's suggestion that the total and prior-existence views should be combined.[improper synthesis?] The second edition asserts that preference-satisfaction utilitarianism, incorporating the 'journey' model, applies without invoking the first edition's suggestion about the total view. But the details are fuzzy and Singer admits that he is "not entirely satisfied" with his treatment.[citation needed]

Ethical conduct is justifiable by reasons that go beyond prudence to "something bigger than the individual," addressing a larger audience. Singer thinks this going-beyond identifies moral reasons as "somehow universal", specifically in the injunction to 'love thy neighbor as thyself', interpreted by him as demanding that one give the same weight to the interests of others as one gives to one's own interests. This universalizing step, which Singer traces from Kant to Hare,[attribution needed] is crucial and sets him apart from moral theorists from Hobbes to David Gauthier, who regard that step as flatly irrational.[improper synthesis?] Universalization leads directly to utilitarianism, Singer argues, on the strength of the thought that one's own interests cannot count for more than the interests of others. Taking these into account, one must weigh them up and adopt the course of action that is most likely to maximize the interests of those affected; utilitarianism has been arrived at. Singer's universalizing step applies to interests without reference to who has them, whereas a Kantian's applies to the judgments of rational agents (in Kant's kingdom of ends, or Rawls's Original Position, etc.).[improper synthesis?] Singer regards Kantian universalization as unjust to animals.[citation needed] As for the Hobbesians, Singer attempts a response in the final chapter of Practical Ethics, arguing that self-interested reasons support adoption of the moral point of view, such as 'the paradox of hedonism', which counsels that happiness is best found by not looking for it, and the need most people feel to relate to something larger than their own concerns. Kant redirects here. ... Hobbes redirects here. ... David Gauthier (born 1932) is a Canadian-American philosopher best known for his neo-Hobbesian social contract (contractarian) theory of morality, as laid out in his book Morals By Agreement. ... John Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American philosopher, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard University and author of A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, and The Law of Peoples. ... The paradox of hedonism, also called the pleasure paradox, is the idea in the study of ethics which points out on that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena that do not obey normal principles. ...

Abortion, euthanasia and infanticide

Consistent with his general ethical theory, Singer holds that the right to life is grounded in a being's personhood; that is, in the sense of a being's rationality and self-consciousness. In his view, the central argument against abortion is equivalent to the following logical syllogism:

It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.
A human foetus is an innocent human being.
Therefore it is wrong to kill a human foetus. [1]

His argument against this is to say that, while a fetus is admittedly a member of the human species, it is not a person, which is defined as a self conscious being that sees itself over time. Species member is morally irrelevant, but personhood is relevant. [2]

Singer classifies euthanasia as voluntary, involuntary, or non-voluntary. Voluntary euthanasia is that with the consent of the subject.

Singer's book 'Rethinking Life and Death: The collapse of our Traditional Ethics' offers further examination of the ethical dilemmas concerning the advances of medicine. He covers the value of human life and quality of life ethics in addition to abortion and other controversial ethical dilemmas. [ISBN-13: 978-0-312-14401-2]

World poverty

In "Famine, Affluence, and Morality",[8] one of Singer's best-known philosophical essays, he argues that the injustice of some people living in abundance while others starve is morally indefensible. Singer proposes that anyone able to help the poor should donate part of their income to aid poverty and similar efforts. Singer reasons that, when one is already living comfortably, a further purchase to increase comfort will lack the same moral importance as saving another person's life. (One point of contention is at what point a person may be said to be 'living comfortably' and "Famine, Affluence And Morality" does not set out how to specify this.)[improper synthesis?] Singer himself reports that he donates 25% of his salary to Oxfam and UNICEF.[9] In "Rich and Poor", the version of the aforementioned article that appears in the second edition of Practical Ethics,[10] his main argument is presented as follows: If we can prevent something bad without sacrificing anything of comparable significance, we ought to do it; absolute poverty is bad; there is some poverty we can prevent without sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance; therefore we ought to prevent some absolute poverty. Famine, Affluence, and Morality is an essay written by Peter Singer in 1971 covering the moral obligation of the affluent to donate some of their money to famine relief. ... Oxfam International logo Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 organizations working with over 3000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. ... UNICEF Logo The United Nations Childrens Fund or UNICEF (Arabic: ; French: ; Spanish: ) was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946. ...

Other views


In a 2001 review of Midas Dekkers's Dearest Pet: On Bestiality,[11] Singer stated that "mutually satisfying activities" of a sexual nature may sometimes occur between humans and animals and that writer Otto Soyka would condone such activities. Singer explains Dekkers belief that zoophilia should remain illegal if it involves what he sees as "cruelty", but otherwise is no cause for shock or horror. Howver, Singer does not claim to endorse the views of either Dekker or Soyka, merely to be explaining them. Singer believes that although sex between species is not normal or natural,[12] it does not constitute a transgression of our status as human beings, because human beings are animals or, more specifically, "we are great apes".[11] Some religious individuals and animal rights groups have condemned this view,[citation needed] while the animal rights organization PETA has expressed cautious support.[13] Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about zoophilia, the emotional and (optionally) sexual attraction of humans to animals. ... Peta can refer to: Peta (prefix), a prefix meaning times 1015 in the International System of Units People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal-rights organization People Eating Tasty Animals, a parody of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Peta, Greece, a town in the prefecture...


Singer holds that affluent nations have a duty to increase their refugee intake.[citation needed]

The natural environment

Singer says the natural world has no intrinsic value, but that the value placed on maintaining the environment is so high that people and their governments should make changes to ensure the world's preservation.[citation needed]

Social psychology

Singer also works in the field of social psychology. Singer's writing appeared in Greater Good Magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley. Singer's contributions include the interpretation of scientific research into the roots of compassion, altruism, and peaceful human relationships. Singer's article, "Can You Do Good by Eating Well?" examines the ethics of eating locally grown food. The scope of social psychological research. ... Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley // The Greater Good Science Center, located at the University of California, Berkeley is an interdisciplinary research center devoted to the scientific understanding of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior. ... Sather tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais. ...

Evolutionary biology and liberal politics

In A Darwinian Left,[14] Singer outlines a plan for the political left to adapt to the lessons of Darwinism and evolutionary biology. He says that evolutionary psychology suggests that humans naturally tend to be self-interested. He further argues that the evidence that selfish tendencies are natural must not be taken as evidence that selfishness is right. He concludes that game theory (the mathematical study of strategy) and experiments in psychology offer hope that self-interested people will make short-term sacrifices for the good of others, if society provides the right conditions. Essentially Singer claims that although humans possess selfish, competitive tendencies naturally, they have a substantial capacity for cooperation that has also been selected for by evolution. A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation is a book by Peter Singer (Yale University Press, ISBN 0300083238), which argues that the view of human nature provided by evolution (e. ... Leftism can refer to: Left-wing politics An album by Leftfield ... Charles Darwin Darwinism is a term for the underlying theory in those ideas of Charles Darwin concerning evolution and natural selection. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is often used in the context of economics. ... This article is about cooperation as used in the social sciences. ...


Singer's positions have been challenged by many different groups concerned with what they see as an attack upon human dignity, from advocates for disabled people to right-to-life supporters and people who challenge what they believe are his efforts to supplant the central role of religion from ethical debate.[citation needed] The term disability, as it is applied to humans, refers to any condition that impedes the completion of daily tasks using traditional methods. ... Right to life is a phrase that describes the belief that a human being has an essential right to live, particularly that a human being has the right not to be killed by another human being. ...

In Germany, his positions have been compared to Nazism and his lectures have been repeatedly disrupted. Some claim that Singer's utilitarian ideas lead to eugenics. American economist Steve Forbes ceased his donations to Princeton University in 1999 because of Singer's appointment to an honorable position.[15] Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal wrote to organizers of a Swedish book fair to which Singer was invited that "A professor of morals ... who justifies the right to kill handicapped newborns ... is in my opinion unacceptable for representation at your level."[16] Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, the leading organization for blind people in the United States, strongly criticized Singer's appointment to the Princeton Faculty in a banquet speech at the organization's national convention in July 2001, claiming that Singer's support for euthanizing disabled babies could lead to disabled older children and adults being valued less as well.[17] Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference [7], 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ... For the boxer, see Stephen Forbes. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... Simon Wiesenthal, KBE, (Buczacz, December 31, 1908 – Vienna, September 20, 2005) was an Austrian-Jewish architectural engineer who hunted down Nazi war criminals, after surviving the Holocaust. ... The National Federation of the Bblind (NFB) is an organization representing blind people in the United States It is probably the largest organization for blind people in the United States and is notable for its willingness to take controversial positions on many issues. ...

Some commentators expressed their disapproval at the publication of Singer's review essay in which he discusses zoophilia.[18] This article is about zoophilia, the emotional and (optionally) sexual attraction of humans to animals. ...

Proponents of other ethical systems like deontology or virtue ethics have found in Singer's work ammunition against utilitarianism and its consequentialism (that is, its assumption that the morality of an act is to be evaluated according to its consequences).[improper synthesis?] They claim that his conclusions show that utilitarianism may lead to eugenics or infanticide in certain circumstances.[citation needed] In moral philosophy, deontology is the view that morality either forbids or permits actions, which is done through moral norms. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Consequentialism refers to those moral theories which hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action. ...

Singer has replied that many people judge him based on secondhand summaries and short quotations taken out of context, not his books or articles.[citation needed] Singer regards animals as deserving a much higher degree of consideration than they have traditionally been given.[19]

Singer experienced the complexities of some of these questions in his own life. Singer's mother had Alzheimer's disease. He said, "I think this has made me see how the issues of someone with these kinds of problems are really very difficult".[20] In an interview with Ronald Bailey published in December 2000 he explained that he is not the only person who is involved in making decisions about his mother (he has a sister). He did say that if he were solely responsible, his mother might not be alive today.[21] (Singer's mother died shortly thereafter.) This incident has led to accusations of hypocrisy.[citation needed] Ronald Bailey is the Science Editor for Reason magazine. ... Hypocrisy is the act of condemning or calling for the condemnation of another person when the critic is guilty of the act for which he demands that the accused be condemned. ...

Meta-ethics and foundational issues

Though Singer focuses more than many philosophers on applied ethical questions,[citation needed] he has also written in depth on foundational issues in meta-ethics, including why one ethical system should be chosen over others. In The Expanding Circle,[22] he argues that the evolution of human society provides support for the utilitarian point of view. On his account, ethical reasoning has existed from the time primitive foraging bands had to cooperate, compromise, and make group decisions to survive. He elaborates: "In a dispute between members of a cohesive group of reasoning beings, the demand for a reason is a demand for a justification that can be accepted by the group as a whole."[23] Thus, consideration of others' interests has long been a necessary part of the human experience. Singer believes that contemplative analysis may now guide one to accept a broader utilitarianism: In philosophy, meta-ethics or analytic ethics [1] is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, and ethical statements, attitudes, and judgments. ...

If I have seen that from an ethical point of view I am just one person among the many in my society, and my interests are no more important, from the point of view of the whole, than the similar interests of others within my society, I am ready to see that, from a still larger point of view, my society is just one among other societies, and the interests of members of my society are no more important, from that larger perspective, than the similar interests of members of other societies… Taking the impartial element in ethical reasoning to its logical conclusion means, first, accepting that we ought to have equal concern for all human beings.[24]

Singer elaborates that viewing oneself as equal to others in one's society and at the same time viewing one's society as fundamentally superior to other societies may cause an uncomfortable cognitive dissonance.[citation needed] This is the sense in which he means that reason may push people to accept a broader utilitarian stance.[improper synthesis?] Critics like Ken Binmore say that this cognitive dissonance is apparently not very strong, since people often knowingly ignore the interests of faraway societies quite similar to their own.[25] They also argue that the "ought" of the quoted paragraph applies only to someone who has already accepted the premise that all societies are equally important.[citation needed] Singer has responded that his argument in Expanding the Circle wasn't intended to provide a complete philosophical justification for a utilitarian categorical imperative, but merely to provide a plausible explanation for how some people come to accept utilitarianism. [citation needed] Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with ones beliefs, or from experiencing apparently conflicting phenomena. ... Kenneth G. Binmore is a well known economist and game theorist. ... The categorical imperative is the central philosophical concept of the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and of modern deontological ethics. ...

An alternative line taken by Singer about the need for ethics[26] is that living the ethical life may be, on the whole, more satisfying than seeking only material gain. He invokes the hedonistic paradox, noting that those who pursue material gain seldom find the happiness they seek. Having a broader purpose in life may lead to more long-term happiness. On this account, impartial (self-sacrificing) behavior in particular matters may be motivated by self-interested considerations from a broader perspective. The paradox of hedonism, also called the pleasure paradox, is the idea in the study of ethics which points out on that pleasure and happiness are strange phenomena that do not obey normal principles. ...

Singer has also implicitly argued that a watertight defense of utilitarianism is not crucial to his work. In "Famine, Affluence, and Morality", he begins by saying that he would like to see how far a seemingly innocuous and widely endorsed principle can take us; the principle is that one is morally required to forgo a small pleasure to relieve someone else's immense pain. He then argues that this principle entails radical conclusions — for example, that affluent people are very immoral if they do not give up some luxury goods in order to donate the money for famine relief. If his reasoning is valid, either it is not very immoral to value small luxuries over saving many lives, or such affluent people are very immoral. From this perspective, regardless of the soundness of Singer's fundamental defense of utilitarianism, his work has value in that it exposes conflicts between many people's stated beliefs and their actions.[improper synthesis?]


Some of his other publications include:

  • Democracy and Disobedience, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1973; Oxford University Press, New York, 1974; Gregg Revivals, Aldershot, Hampshire, 1994
  • Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for our Treatment of Animals, New York Review/Random House, New York, 1975; Cape, London, 1976; Avon, New York, 1977; Paladin, London, 1977; Thorsons, London, 1983
  • Animal Rights and Human Obligations: An Anthology (co-editor with Thomas Regan), Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1976. 2nd revised edition, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1989
  • Practical Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979; second edition, 1993. ISBN 0521229200 0521297206
  • Marx, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1980; Hill & Wang, New York, 1980; reissued as Marx: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2000; also included in full in K. Thomas (ed.), Great Political Thinkers: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Mill and Marx, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992
  • Animal Factories (co-author with James Mason), Crown, New York, 1980
  • The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1981; Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1981; New American Library, New York, 1982. ISBN 0374234965
  • Hegel, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 1982; reissued as Hegel: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2001; also included in full in German Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997
  • Test-Tube Babies: a guide to moral questions, present techniques, and future possibilities (co-edited with William Walters), Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1982
  • The Reproduction Revolution: New Ways of Making Babies (co-author with Deane Wells), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1984. revised American edition, Making Babies, Scribner's New York, 1985
  • Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants (co-author with Helga Kuhse), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1985; Oxford University Press, New York, 1986; Gregg Revivals, Aldershot, Hampshire, 1994. ISBN 0192177451
  • In Defence of Animals (ed.), Blackwells, Oxford, 1985; Harper & Row, New York, 1986. ISBN 0631138978
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Guardianship Options for Intellectually Disadvantaged People (co-author with Terry Carney), Human Rights Commission Monograph Series, no. 2, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1986
  • Applied Ethics (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1986
  • Animal Liberation: A Graphic Guide (co-author with Lori Gruen), Camden Press, London, 1987
  • Embryo Experimentation (co-editor with Helga Kuhse, Stephen Buckle, Karen Dawson and Pascal Kasimba), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990; paperback edition, updated, 1993
  • A Companion to Ethics (ed.), Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1991; paperback edition, 1993
  • Save the Animals! (Australian edition, co-author with Barbara Dover and Ingrid Newkirk), Collins Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, NSW, 1991
  • The Great Ape Project: Equality Beyond Humanity (co-editor with Paola Cavalieri), Fourth Estate, London, 1993; hardback, St Martin's Press, New York, 1994; paperback, St Martin's Press, New York, 1995
  • How Are We to Live? Ethics in an Age of Self-interest, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 1993; Mandarin, London, 1995; Prometheus, Buffalo, NY, 1995; Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997
  • Ethics (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994
  • Individuals, Humans and Persons: Questions of Life and Death (co-author with Helga Kuhse), Academia Verlag, Sankt Augustin, Germany, 1994
  • Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 1994; St Martin's Press, New York, 1995. ISBN 0312118805 Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995
  • The Greens (co-author with Bob Brown), Text Publishing, Melbourne, 1996
  • The Allocation of Health Care Resources: An Ethical Evaluation of the "QALY" Approach (co-author with John McKie, Jeff Richardson and Helga Kuhse), Ashgate/Dartmouth, Aldershot, 1998
  • A Companion to Bioethics (co-editor with Helga Kuhse), Blackwell, Oxford, 1998
  • Ethics into Action: Henry Spira and the Animal Rights Movement, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, 1998; Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1999
  • Bioethics. An Anthology (co-editor with Helga Kuhse), Blackwell, 1999/ Oxford, 2006
  • A Darwinian Left, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1999; Yale University Press, New Haven, 2000. ISBN 0-300-08323-8
  • Writings on an Ethical Life, Ecco, New York, 2000; Fourth Estate, London, 2001. ISBN 0060198389
  • Unsanctifying Human Life: Essays on Ethics (edited by Helga Kuhse), Blackwell, Oxford, 2001
  • One World: Ethics and Globalization, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2002; Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2002; 2nd edition, pb, Yale University Press, 2004; Oxford Longman, Hyderabad, 2004. ISBN 0300096860
  • Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna, Ecco Press, New York, 2003; HarperCollins Australia, Melbourne, 2003; Granta, London, 2004
  • The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush, Dutton, New York, 2004; Granta, London, 2004; Text, Melbourne, 2004. ISBN 0525948139
  • How Ethical is Australia? An Examination of Australia's Record as a Global Citizen (with Tom Gregg), Black Inc, Melbourne, 2004
  • The Moral of the Story: An Anthology of Ethics Through Literature (co-edited with Renata Singer), Blackwell, Oxford, 2005
  • In Defense of Animals. The Second Wave (ed.), Blackwell, Oxford, 2005
  • The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter, Rodale, New York, 2006 (co-author with Jim Mason); Text, Melbourne; Random House, London ISBN 157954889X
  • Eating (co-authored with Jim Mason), Arrow, London, 2006
  • Peter Singer Under Fire, Open Court, forthcoming

Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals is a book by Australian philosopher Peter Singer. ... How Are We to Live? : Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest is a book on applied ethics by modern bioethical philosopher Peter Singer. ... A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation is a book by Peter Singer (Yale University Press, ISBN 0300083238), which argues that the view of human nature provided by evolution (e. ...

See also

The Argument from Marginal Cases is a philosophical position regarding the moral status of animals. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into bioethics. ... This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. ...


  1. ^ Douglas Aiton: Ten Things You Didn't Know about Professor Peter Singer; The Weekend Australian magazine, February 27-27, 2005
  2. ^ Democracy and Disobedience, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973, ISBN 0-19-824504-1.
  3. ^ Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for our Treatment of Animals, New York: New York review/Random House, 1975, ISBN 0-394-40096-8; second edition, 1990, ISBN 0-940322-00-5.
  4. ^ Compare his fellow utilitarian John Stuart Mill, whose defense of the rights of the individual in On Liberty (1859) is introduced with the qualification, "It is proper to state that I forego any advantage which could be derived to my argument from the idea of abstract right as a thing independent of utility".[improper synthesis?]
  5. ^ Op. cit., p. 2.
  6. ^ Gareth Walsh, "Father of animal activism backs monkey testing", The Sunday Times, November 26, 2006.
  7. ^ Practical Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979, ISBN 0-521-22920-0; second edition, 1993, ISBN 0-521-43363-0.
  8. ^ "Famine, Affluence, and Morality", Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 1, no. 3 (Spring 1972), pp. 229-243.
  9. ^ FAQ on Singer's webpage at Princeton
  10. ^ Op. cit., pp. 218-246.
  11. ^ a b "Heavy Petting", Nerve, March 2001.
  12. ^ In one interview, Singer said that he "does not support" having sex with animals, and that having sex with other people is "more fun." (The Colbert Report, Comedy Central, December 11, 2006.)
  13. ^ Sarah Boxer. "Yes, but Did Anyone Ask the Animals' Opinion?", The New York Times, June 9, 2001.
  14. ^ A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation, New Haven : Yale University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-300-08323-8.
  15. ^ http://www.euthanasia.com/forb.html
  16. ^ Don Felder, "Professor Death will fit right in at Princeton, Jewish World Review, October 28, 1998.
  17. ^ http://www.nfb.org/Images/nfb/Publications/convent/banque01.htm
  18. ^ "Animal Crackers", The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2001.
  19. ^ "[T]he aim of my argument is to elevate the status of animals rather than to lower the status of any humans" (Practical Ethics, p. 77).
  20. ^ Quoted in Michael Specter, "The Dangerous Philosopher", The New Yorker, September 6, 1999.
  21. ^ Ronald Bailey, "The Pursuit of Happiness", Reason (magazine), December 2000.
  22. ^ The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981, ISBN 0-374-23496-5.
  23. ^ The Expanding Circle p. 93
  24. ^ The Expanding Circle p. 119
  25. ^ Ken Binmore, Natural Justice, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-517811-4.
  26. ^ In, e.g., the last chapter of Practical Ethics.

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873), British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. ... On Liberty is a philosophical work in the English language by 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill, first published in 1859. ... The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper distributed in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International which is in turn owned by News Corporation. ... Nerve is an American online magazine dedicated to sex, relationships and culture. ... The Colbert Report (IPA ) is an American satirical television program that airs from 11:30 p. ... Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel in the United States. ... is the 345th day of the year (346th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... Jewish World Review is an online magazine published five days a week, which purports to appeal to people of faith and those interested in learning more about contemporary Judaism from Jews who take their religion seriously. ... The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is an international daily newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company in New York City, New York, USA, with Asian and European editions, and a worldwide daily circulation of more than 2 million as of 2006, with 931,000 paying online subscribers. ... For other uses, see New Yorker. ... The libertarian Reason Magazine dedicated an issue to Ayn Rands influence one hundred years after her birth. ...

External links

Philosophy Talk is a talk radio program co-hosted by John Perry and Kenneth Taylor, who are professors at Stanford University. ...


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Peter Singer, whose book Animal Liberation galvanized the animal rights movement in 1975, is unique among contemporary philosophers for the direct, immediate, and powerful influence his ideas have had on the world around him.
Singer’s work in applied ethics and his activism in politics were informed by his utilitarianism, the tradition in ethical philosophy that holds that actions are right or wrong depending on the extent to which they promote happiness or prevent pain.
The most important philosophical contribution of the book was Singer’s clear articulation of the concept of “speciesism”; (which he did not invent): the rationally unsupported idea that the species of a being should be relevant to its moral status, just as race and sex should be relevant to the moral status of a human being.
Tom Regans - Peter Singer - dyreforsøg 1 (2176 words)
Peter Singer ser derimod sådan på det (i sit senere forfatterskab), at et drab kan retfærdiggøres, hvis der sørges for, at der kommer et nyt individ til verden, hvorved det hele går lige O-P op.
Regan og Singer er begge vegetarer; Regan fordi han mener, at det er hans pligt at respektere dyrenes integritet og Singer fordi han ikke mener, at menneskets gevinst står i noget rimeligt forhold til dyrenes lidelser i landbruget af i dag.
For Peter Singer er det derimod et åbent spørgsmål, om det kan tillades; det kommer igen an på dels jægernes glæde ved at jage og især om de dræbte dyrs tab overdøves af de "frelste" dyrs gevinst.
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