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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Effective Altruism by Princeton University

630 ratings

About the Course

Effective altruism is built on the simple but unsettling idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good one can. In this course you will examine this idea's philosophical underpinnings; meet remarkable people who have restructured their lives in accordance with it; and think about how effective altruism can be put into practice in your own life. All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion....

Top reviews


Jan 22, 2018

Excellent material on a much needed topic. The course brought together a good number of strong and important ideas, well backed by research and with very interesting and relevant guest speakers.


Aug 3, 2022

Wonderful course. Professor is excellent in subject as well as to convey his idea. I love the mix of lectures and guests' speakers. Thank professor Singer and Coursera for offering this course.

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1 - 25 of 177 Reviews for Effective Altruism

By John G T

Mar 29, 2017

Thought provoking and persuasive, this course is both an excellent introduction to the study of ethics and to the growing movement striving for a better world - effective altruism.

By Taryn R

May 14, 2020

I beyond appreciated and looked forward to Professor Singer's weekly lessons on Effective Altruism. It provided great history on the theories and debates of Altruism, but more importantly it provided tangible, action related learning. I have come away from the course with a game plan on how to implement my own charitable goals that are backed by data-driven resources and tools.

By Nathalie F

Jun 5, 2020

Fabulous thought-provoking and mind-opening course. This course not only offers concepts, perspectives and clarity but most importantly gives practical and achievable examples of how we can all start make a difference in our very own everyday lives as well as in this world as a whole today.

It offered the missing piece and peace of my career puzzle! Thank you!

By Julio L B

Jan 23, 2018

Excellent material on a much needed topic. The course brought together a good number of strong and important ideas, well backed by research and with very interesting and relevant guest speakers.

By Natalya R

Apr 5, 2020

Very insightful course, opened my eyes to the importance of an indepth analysis when considering charitable donations. Also introduced valuable resources when considering how and what to give.

By Luz-Elena C

Apr 18, 2017

What a wonderful course. It gives each of us a way to help in the best possible manner. One would think that only serious philanthropists can help when in fact every single person can.

By David W

Jun 27, 2020

I learned about a few very valuable organizations to efficiently maximize the effectiveness of your donations. I will go back thru notes to select the best. For me 1/4 of the course was 5+, as the essential need to give and most effective ways. Would have liked more ways to evaluate causes that interest you, even if not the "best" use of your donations (helping people become more independent, educated, reduce slavery, sex trade & abuse, rather than "just" focus on saving lives. Some harshness, but truth to Professor's Singer's belief: If you know about the problems you are obligated to help. So many are "blissfully" ignorant, or self-deluded by what difference can I make with the Gates Foundation & others barely making a dent. Some of my wanting to get to just the nuggets (best websites to gauge effectiveness of charities (vs administration costs) and "best charities" is because I'm retired & would like to both help while I can, but hopefully inspire my grand-kids to both know about poverty and violations of human rights, but feel that they can make a difference and to feel good about doing what they can.

By Hyunsook K

Sep 1, 2015

No passion is on his lecture. There is only dryness and ethical superior pride through his theory.. Altruism without love is an empty vanity and well-designed commercial intention for selling his theory.

By Gustavo C

May 20, 2019

To think that an ancient philosophy not applicable to modern life is like thinking that the sun is not effective because it is old. Effective altruism goes beyond the personal satisfaction of doing good and feeling good about what I can achieve, Eastern philosophy teaches us that it produces twice the joy of giving than what produces receiving. I am very grateful for this course and the orientation that Dr Singer has given to such a relevant topic in an era of individual selfishness.


Aug 23, 2015

It's been a great experience to now deep this amazing Peter Singer's proposal. I appreciate a lot the way that ethical ideas, feelings and projects are exposed and shared with all of us. The result is not only to get more knowledge about effective altruism but to have the chance of changing our lives.

By j. s

Oct 17, 2019

This course gave me a perspective on altruism that I would not have considered on my own. It made me think about the the situations of worldly conditions and how our lives are truly different around the world. It makes you think about what might be the right thing for you to do.

By Janka E

Sep 25, 2015

For me it was a fantastic course. This is exactly that time in my life when I'm alwasy thinking about what I should work and how can I help as much as I can. This course helped me a lot and I recived a lot of good ideas for my essay and for my life also.

By Zoë G

Jan 13, 2020

I found this course super helpful, especially in strengthening my understanding of philosophy. I thought the course content was clear and easy to understand and I would highly recommend taking the course.

By Alex H

Jul 6, 2020

Engaging, inspiring and loaded with both excellent reading materials as well as practical advice and personal stories.

By Mari D

Apr 28, 2020

Life-changing and very inspirational! Thank you, Professor Singer, for making this available for the general public.

By Carlos C

Aug 10, 2015

Excellent lectures. In Colombia should be issued this style of lectures to sensitize the professionals of tomorrow.

By Christine S

Aug 29, 2015

The course was well done and included interesting guest speakers. However, I was not keen on the format and am not likely to sign up again for a course where the Coursera student is like a voyeur into the professor's actual classroom. In this case, we were privy to his lectures at Princeton and the camera frequently panned the classroom full of students. I have taken many Coursera classes and all were directed at the Coursera student specifically. I appreciated that. And I also appreciated Peter Singer allowing us into his Princeton classroom. I realize what an incredible opportunity he gave us through Coursera. So, thanks.

By Jaime L

Oct 26, 2018

The course a very good start, with interesting information on how to make ethical decisions.. however it never provides a clear conclusion to the topic and it moves to the charity topic, focusing entirely on the efficiency and reasons to give money to charities, without discussing further the principle of charities to begin with.

Effective Altruism is much bigger than just charity works, therefore i am not pleased with the program's agenda and emphasis on charities.

By Esteban R

Jul 9, 2017

This course is important on many levels, and take the lessons seriously as your way of life could develop in new and more enriching ways if you fully engage. The final essay can be complex depending on which question you choose, so try your best to answer as carefully as you can.

By Mantas M

May 17, 2016

A nice introduction, but having already been acquainted with the material somewhat, it came of as a bit stale. Some of the bits on moral theories at the beginning were new and informative, and the interviews were interesting regardless.

By Edij

Feb 16, 2020

A great course!! It lays a good foundation on why and how to live and enjoy a meaningful life with many inspiring example of the people, young guys and seniors, who've demonstrated that living altruistically is joyful and productive.

By Eelco R

May 18, 2020

Life changing is not an overstatement.

This thought provoking introduction to practical ethics (especially utilitarianism) makes you think about what it means to live an ethical life and asks you to act accordingly.

By Karen P

Jan 12, 2019

This course is excellent, especially for those wanting to understand the basics to ethics and Peter Singer’s (and others) thinking. Good amount of detail and well-structured.


May 24, 2020

Really helpful. I am taking this course for my paper, just want to get some basic knowledge of Altruism. But it goes gradually deeper with this course. Thanks a lot.

By Agata H P

Dec 6, 2015

Thought provoking, were well orchestrated, I am learning, and I am moved, and I think we are all moved towards making the world a better place.