Yascha Mounk interviews Peter Singer at Persuasion (audio also available):
Yascha Mounk: What’s the case for being a utilitarian and seeing the world through utilitarian eyes?
Peter Singer: I think utilitarianism—far from being a kind of dry economic science or anything like that—is actually a reforming impulse. That goes back a long way before Jeremy Bentham, but was certainly made explicit by Bentham. Bentham and [later] utilitarians have been against slavery, they’ve been for women’s rights. They’ve been for the rights of gay people long before anybody else dared to even talk about that. They’ve been against cruelty to animals. They’ve been for prison reform. There’s a long list of things that utilitarians have been trying to reduce the amount of suffering in relation to and I’m very happy to be part of that tradition and to think of utilitarianism not merely as something for philosophers to talk about, but something that motivates people to act.