Hinge of history

TagLast edit: 19 Jun 2021 9:18 UTC by EA Wiki assistant

The hinge of history is a hypothetical time in human history in which humanity has disproportionate influence over the long-term future. The hinge of history hypothesis is the view that we are currently living at the hinge of history (MacAskill 2019; MacAskill 2021).

Whether the hinge of history hypothesis is true may determine how the present generation ought to prioritize between causes or choose between giving and investing, and may have other important implications.


Fisher, Richard (2020) Are we living at the “hinge of history”?, BBC Future, September 23.

Kelsey Piper (2019) Is this the most important century in human history?, Vox, September 26.

MacAskill, William (2019) Are we living at the most influential time in history?, Effective Altruism Forum, September 3.

MacAskill, William (2021) ‘Are we living at the hinge of history?’, in Jeff McMahan et al. (eds.) Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Trammell, Philip (2020) Philanthropy timing and the Hinge of History, Effective Altruism Global, February 11.

Wiblin, Robert & Keiran Harris (2020) Will MacAskill on the moral case against ever leaving the house, whether now is the hinge of history, and the culture of effective altruism, 80,000 Hours, January 24.

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