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Pass it on! The channeling method in consumer ethics

How should consumers respond to the numerous ethical concerns about products they might want to buy?

The standard method of analytic philosophers is to approach this problem piecemeal. For example, philosophers consider the ethical status of purchasing goods tainted by high carbon footprints, sweatshop labor, or by animal welfare concerns. Typically, these approaches look intractable when we try to combine them to provide practical advice for actual consumers.

In this talk, I propose a method that can act as a supplement to, or alternatively a substitute for, the standard method. The outputs of this “channeling method” are intended to guide consumers who purchase tainted products and benefit from these purchases; they suggest consumers channel the benefits they gain in this way towards suitable causes.

I explain the role that NGOs would need to play in making this account work and defend the view against the objection that it is overly demanding for the poor.

Ewan Kingston teaches philosophy at the College of Charleston in the United States. After graduating from the University of Otago with degrees in Environmental Studies and English (and almost in Philosophy) he studied philosophy at Victoria University in Wellington and at Duke University in the U.S. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Environmental Institute and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

Date Monday, 6 March 2023
Time 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Audience Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff,Alumni
Event Category Humanities
Event Type Seminar
LocationBurns 5, Arts Building, 95 Albany Street, Dunedin
Contact NameKaren McLean

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