Mark Hay in Good:
Peter Singer is arguably one of the world’s best-known modern philosophers. Singer has been based out of Princeton University since 1999 and has a host of awards and honors to his name. He’s perhaps best known for his seminal 1975 tomeAnimal Liberation, which all but coined that term (he’d used it earlier in 1973) and helped to launch the movement around it. Arguing that there was no real value or significance in the distinction between species and rejecting the need for reciprocal social contracts for ethics to exist, he asserted that we ought to do the greatest good for the most living beings in the world by instituting animal rights (via non-violent activism), combating factory farming, and pursuing vegetarianism. But Singer’s interests and philosophical works go far beyond these best-of conceptual touchstones.
A classical utilitarian, Singer concerns himself with sorting out hierarchies of need and interest to allocate resources, attention, and effectively provide the greatest good to the most beings. His interests have drawn him into debates on everything from population control to the right to death and every other hot-button political issue of every era since he became a public intellectual. Recently he’s become an outspoken commentator on effective altruism and corporate ethics.
Singer’s general preoccupation with determining the best and most rational courses for human behavior towards the wider world dovetail nicely with (and have led him to previously address) issues related to climate change.