"An optimistic and compelling look at the positive impact that giving can have on the world."
—Bill and Melinda Gates
A new book about making the world a radically better place, from the best-selling and thought-provoking philosopher, Peter Singer.
All author royalties will be donated to effective charities recommended by The Life You Can Save. Part of publisher revenue will be donated (Text Publishing, Australia: Oxfam Australia).

HOW CAN WE Make THE WORLD A better Place?




From Peter Singer, the man often described as “the most influential living philosopher”, comes a new book that challenges us to start making our lives really count.

In the western world, we tend to think of ethical living as a simple matter of being polite, obeying the law and making the odd donation to our favorite charities. But with just a bit more thought, there is so much more good we could do: with our donations, our careers and our lives.

We need to start thinking about effectiveness: for every dollar you give to a particular cause, how much does it achieve? Say you give money to train guide dogs, or to the homeless shelter down the road. They may well be worthy causes, but the same sums could achieve so much more if used to prevent disease in the developing world.

And it’s not just a matter of donations. Is volunteering to build huts in Africa the best use of your time, or would it be better to go into business and use the money you earn to fund a whole fleet of aid workers?

Inspired by the work of Singer and others, the Effective Altruism movement has arisen to tackle these issues through research, advocacy and activism. This book tells the astonishing stories of some of the key players, and sets out their astonishing conclusion:

If we’re going to change the world, we need to unlearn what we think we know about doing good.


What people are saying


“Singer makes a strong case for a simple idea—that each of us has a tremendous opportunity to help others with our abilities, time and money. The Most Good You Can Do is an optimistic and compelling look at the positive impact that giving can have on the world.”

Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


“Peter Singer is one of the most important thinkers of our time, and this is his most important book. Through the stories of those in the nascent effective altruism movement, he provides clear guidance on what it means to live an ethical life in the face of the world’s many problems. From charity to career choice to consumerism, this book will revolutionize how you think about doing good."

William MacAskill, author of Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and How You Can Make a Difference

“Provocative and important …. The Most Good You Can Do is a delight to read—Singer is a deep thinker and a wonderfully clear writer, moving smoothly from careful philosophical analyses to vivid stories of extraordinary lives. And even if you are not persuaded that effective altruism is the way to become a better—and happier—person, you will find yourself deeply unsettled by Singer’s provocative claims about poverty, climate change, animals, art, rationality, and much else.”

Paul Bloom, author of Just Babies

“Read Peter Singer at your own peril. His arguments about animal welfare and vegetarianism have moved millions to change their lives.The Most Good You Can Do will challenge you to consider how your donations, career choices, and everyday life decisions can maximize good in the world.”

Rob Reich, Associate Professor of Political Science at Stanford University

“Singer's inspiring book challenges us all to take it up a notch in thinking about our giving. Reading this book can change your life; acting on this book can improve the lives of others.”

Dean Karlan, author of More Than Good Intentions and President of Innovations for Poverty Action

"An outstanding resource for any donor looking to have an outsized impact on the world."

Cari Tuna, President of Good Ventures

“Peter Singer is the world’s most influential living philosopher, and this may be his most influential book—an inspiring and practical guide to living ethically in an age of unmatched opportunity. You cannot escape its pull.”

Joshua Greene, author of Moral Tribes

"Peter Singer makes a compelling ethical argument for ‘effective altruism’ as a way of life. By giving of our time and resources in a thoughtful and significant way, each of us has the power to save lives and make the world a better place.”

Lauren Bush, CEO and Founder of FEED


About the Author

Peter Singer is an Australian moral philosopher specializing in applied ethics. He is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. He is the author of more than twenty books including Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, and The Life You Can Save.