Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Congratulating Peter Singer

There is an article in The Daily Princetonian celebrating Peter Singer's ten year anniversary at that institution.

Of no special import, this article, other than it accused one of the groups leading the opposition to Singer's appointment -- the disability rights organization, Not Dead Yet -- of staging "violent protests."

The misstatement has been retracted, but it is interesting to read the article and see (if the quotes are more accurate than the words about Not Dead Yet) how many students and graduates were captured by Singer's utilitarian logic.

Of course, many people who dissect Singer's work -- for example, his theoretical idea that infanticide in certain circumstances is the proper choice -- will recognize he wrenches utilitarianism into a corkscrew twisted enough to fit through the keyhole of logic.

Were we to substitute any other class of people -- chronic alcoholics, those with five felony convictions, those in permanent custodial care because of mental disease, etc. -- for infants born with disabilities no doubt we would see support dwindle rapidly away for his so-called philosophy.

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