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The Ethics of Philanthropy

We will consider the moral requirements of and for philanthropy and its practices and the role of philanthropy in a democratic society. Topics may include religious and moral imperatives and motives for charitable giving, arguments (such as Peter Singer's) that one is obligated to give away almost everything to save the lives of the poor, the justifications for publicly subsidizing philanthropy (through the tax system), the unintended problematic consequences of organized philanthropy, the role of corporate philanthropy, and the ethics of using psychological and behavioral economics techniques for fundraising. Along the way, we may consider contemporary practices such as venture philanthropy and policy advocacy, the idea that philanthropy should be rooted in strategies based on empirical evidence (and critics of these approaches), and the relationship between foundations and their grantees.nClass meeting dates: To be determined by instructor.nElements used in grading: Class attendance at all sessions and class participation. nDiscussions in Ethical and Professional Values Courses Ranking Form: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Ranking Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students). See Ranking Form for instructions and submission deadline.

2013-2014 Winter
01/06/2014 - 03/10/2014 Mon 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Instructors: Paul Brest ; Larry Kramer
Notes: Law Unit Limitation.

Instructors for this course

Larry Kramer
Paul Brest