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Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality

Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality Online

Emma Saunders-Hastings will discuss her new book Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality. The book develops a political theory of philanthropy and its relationship to democracy. Philanthropy plays a significant role in supporting the provision of many public goods in contemporary societies. As a result, decisions that affect public outcomes and people’s diverse interests are often dependent on the preferences and judgments of the rich. Saunders-Hastings explains how this situation threatens important democratic values and offers proposals for reform. She shows how philanthropy can deepen political inequality by enabling the wealthy to exercise outsize influence in public life and by putting in place paternalistic relationships between donors and their intended beneficiaries. If philanthropy is to be made compatible with a democratic society of equals, it must be judged not simply on the immediate benefits it brings but on its wider political consequences.  

Emma Saunders-Hastings, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of political science at the Ohio State University. She is the author of Private Virtues, Public Vices: Philanthropy and Democratic Equality (University of Chicago Press, 2022). Her research on philanthropy has been published in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, and the edited volume Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has also written about philanthropy for a general audience in the Boston Review and at histphil.org. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
Registration has closed.

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