This essay confronts Peter Singer’s vision of the gift with Jacques Derrida’s by examining the claims of “effective altruism,” a movement of which Singer is the most prominent representative. While Derrida argues that giving for the sake of giving is impossible to the extent that the circle of reciprocity can never be transgressed, Singer affirms the existence of nonreciprocal altruism. By “earning to give,” that is, giving as much as we can to strangers, we can do the most possible good and thus contradict economic capitalistic expansion. To what extent is this affirmation convincing? To what extent does it allow for a way out from the aporia of the gift described by Derrida?

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