Influential philosopher inspires students in virtual lecture

Regarded as the world’s most influential living philosopher, Professor Peter Singer delivered an inspiring talk to students at King Edward’s School on Thursday 15 October.

Best known for his writings on animal rights and global poverty, the Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, delivered a virtual lecture and Q&A session to students on ‘Living an Ethical Life’. A wide range of topics were discussed, including how to pick an ethical career, non-human animal rights and becoming a vegan, the problem of global poverty and ethics of the lockdown.

The event was organised by Year 13 student Rohil Aurora, who had contacted the philosopher after hearing him speak at the Cambridge Union during lockdown. “What started with a long shot email to Peter Singer, which I didn’t expect a reply to, ended up being an incredible event,” said Rohil.

“We had discussed Peter Singer in our philosophy lessons and I’d read a few of his books so, to me, this really was a big deal. When he replied to say he would be willing, I was overjoyed and quickly set the gears in motion with our Philosophy Department.

“The event itself was magnificent. Although it was slightly terrifying standing on stage, I enjoyed speaking to him and it was fascinating to hear his responses to the many questions we asked. Though I felt myself disagreeing with part of what he said, I respected him greatly as he clearly followed his own philosophy in his life: giving away large amounts of money to charity and being a vegan himself. My admiration for him grew as I spoke to him and I feel truly lucky to have had such an opportunity.

“I hope this might inspire other students to go for any long shot, you never know what it may lead to!”

View photos from the virtual event.

Peter Singer is an Australian philosopher and the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Centre for Human Values at Princeton University. He is the author of Animal Liberation, Why Vegan? and The Life You Can Save.