Mo­ral cir­cle expansion

TagLast edit: 3 Aug 2021 15:10 UTC by EA Wiki assistant

Moral circle expansion is the attempt to expand the perceived boundaries of the category of moral patients. It has been proposed as a priority cause area (Anthis & Paez 2021) and as a heuristic for discovering cause X (Vaughan 2016).


Aird, Michael (2020) Collection of sources relevant to moral circles, moral boundaries, or their expansion, Effective Altruism Forum, May 7.
Many additional resources on this topic or related topics.

Anthis, Jacy Reese (2018) Why I prioritize moral circle expansion over artificial intelligence alignment, Effective Altruism Forum, February 20.

Anthis, Jacy Reese & Eze Paez (2021) Moral circle expansion: A promising strategy to impact the far future, Futures, vol. 130, p. 104743.

Karnofsky, Holden (2017) Radical empathy, Open Philanthropy, February 16.

Laham, Simon M. (2009) Expanding the moral circle: inclusion and exclusion mindsets and the circle of moral regard, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 45, pp. 250–253.

Singer, Peter (1981) The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Slinsky, Grue (2019) The moral circle is not a circle, Effective Altruism Forum, August 14.

External links

Section on the expanding moral circle in MacAskill, Will & Darius Meissner (2020) Introduction to Utilitarianism: An Online Textbook, Oxford.

Related entries

moral advocacy | moral patienthood | moral weight | speciesism | value lock-in

Mo­ral cir­cles: De­grees, di­men­sions, visuals

MichaelA24 Jul 2020 4:04 UTC
67 points
10 comments13 min readEA link

[Short Ver­sion] What Helped the Voice­less? His­tor­i­cal Case Studies

Mauricio15 Dec 2020 3:40 UTC
47 points
2 comments10 min readEA link

The Nar­row­ing Cir­cle (Gw­ern)

Aaron Gertler11 Feb 2019 23:50 UTC
41 points
15 commentsEA link

The Drown­ing Child and the Ex­pand­ing Circle

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45 points
35 comments6 min readEA link

On the longter­mist case for work­ing on farmed an­i­mals [Uncer­tain­ties & re­search ideas]

MichaelA11 Apr 2021 6:49 UTC
64 points
12 comments8 min readEA link

Why I pri­ori­tize moral cir­cle ex­pan­sion over ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence alignment

Jacy_Reese20 Feb 2018 18:29 UTC
77 points
68 commentsEA link

The Mo­ral Cir­cle is not a Circle

Grue_Slinky14 Aug 2019 17:55 UTC
36 points
5 comments8 min readEA link

The ex­pected value of ex­tinc­tion risk re­duc­tion is positive

JanBrauner9 Dec 2018 8:00 UTC
41 points
21 comments61 min readEA link

Why do effec­tive al­tru­ists sup­port the causes we do?

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21 points
15 commentsEA link

Find­ing more effec­tive causes

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20 points
3 commentsEA link


TopherHallquist10 Sep 2014 7:30 UTC
33 points
42 commentsEA link

Three Heuris­tics for Find­ing Cause X

Kerry_Vaughan4 Nov 2016 14:36 UTC
5 points
5 commentsEA link

Ex­tinc­tion risk re­duc­tion and moral cir­cle ex­pan­sion: Spec­u­lat­ing sus­pi­cious convergence

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12 points
4 comments6 min readEA link

In­tro­duc­ing the Le­gal Pri­ori­ties Project

jonasschuett30 Aug 2020 14:10 UTC
179 points
13 comments1 min readEA link

Some his­tory top­ics it might be very valuable to investigate

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84 points
34 comments6 min readEA link

[Question] What ever hap­pened to PETRL (Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of Re­in­force­ment Learn­ers)?

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30 points
4 comments1 min readEA link

Longter­mism and an­i­mal advocacy

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80 points
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Some EA Fo­rum Posts I’d like to write

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85 points
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Tyler John: Per­son­hood initiatives

EA Global8 Jun 2018 7:51 UTC
8 points
0 comments14 min readEA link

Jose Valle: Vir­tual re­al­ity for pro­mot­ing empathy

EA Global11 Aug 2017 8:19 UTC
6 points
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Ex­pand­ing the moral cir­cle (Kelly Witwicki)

EA Global2 Jun 2017 8:48 UTC
6 points
0 comments1 min readEA link

Ex­pand­ing Our Com­pas­sion: More to explore

EA Handbook2 Jan 2021 1:22 UTC
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0 comments1 min readEA link

The Case Against Speciesism

EA Handbook9 Nov 2020 1:00 UTC
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So­cial Move­ment Les­sons from the Fair Trade Movement

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39 points
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Rad­i­cal Empathy

Holden Karnofsky16 Feb 2017 12:41 UTC
15 points
0 comments6 min readEA link

Hu­man­i­ties Re­search Ideas for Longtermists

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126 points
11 comments15 min readEA link

Key Les­sons From So­cial Move­ment History

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104 points
24 comments11 min readEA link

Does Mo­ral Philos­o­phy Drive Mo­ral Progress?

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37 points
4 comments4 min readEA link

Towards a longter­mist frame­work for eval­u­at­ing democ­racy-re­lated interventions

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81 points
3 comments36 min readEA link

Blind Spots: Compartmentalizing

Dale31 Dec 2014 22:25 UTC
13 points
58 commentsEA link

What Helped the Voice­less? His­tor­i­cal Case Studies

Mauricio11 Oct 2020 3:38 UTC
113 points
16 comments92 min readEA link

The Im­por­tance of Ar­tifi­cial Sentience

Jamie_Harris3 Mar 2021 17:17 UTC
53 points
10 comments11 min readEA link

What is the ar­gu­ment against a Thanos-ing all hu­man­ity to save the lives of other sen­tient be­ings?

somethoughts7 Mar 2021 8:02 UTC
0 points
11 comments3 min readEA link

Some con­sid­er­a­tions for differ­ent ways to re­duce x-risk

tyrael4 Feb 2016 3:21 UTC
23 points
36 commentsEA link

[Question] Can the moral cir­cle be ex­panded through eco­nomic se­cu­rity and/​or poli­ti­cal trust?

Jan-WillemvanPutten13 Apr 2021 7:59 UTC
9 points
1 comment1 min readEA link


tyleralterman14 Feb 2016 1:24 UTC
20 points
3 commentsEA link

What Mo­ti­vates Uneth­i­cal Be­hav­ior and How Does that Affect our Altru­is­tic Re­sponse?

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2 points
3 comments1 min readEA link