Effective altruism (EA) is a movement devoted to the idea of doing good in the most effective way possible. EA has been the target of a number of critiques. In this article, I focus on one prominent critique: that EA fails to acknowledge the importance of institutional change. One version of this critique claims that EA relies on an overly individualistic approach to ethics. Defenders of EA have objected that this charge either fails to identify a problem with EA's core idea that each of us should do the most good we can, or makes unreasonable claims about what we should do. However, I argue that we can understand the critique in a way that is well motivated, and that can avoid these objections.
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