Skip to main content

Fırat Akova

Fırat is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Warwick, doing research on effective altruism. He completed his Master of Arts in Istanbul Bilgi University with distinction. He received his Bachelor of Arts from McGill University with a double major in Philosophy and Sociology, and a minor in World Religions.

Effective Altruism and Consequentialism: Extreme Poverty and Animal Exploitation

Effective altruism, as an emerging philosophical and social movement, aims to bring about the most good. By employing cause prioritisation, cost-effectiveness, counterfactual reasoning as core strategies, it diverges from other practices of good because it actively seeks for what to tackle with by quantitatively comparing issues and evaluating their relative significance, and renews itself upon recent evidence. Global poverty, ecological change, animal welfare, existential risk are among the issues effective altruism focuses on. Effective altruists are donating sizeable amount of their money to effective charities, converting to vegan, choosing careers which allow them to maximise positive impact and campaigning for various political demands. The philosophical orientation that effective altruism has is consequentialism.

Fırat singles out two focus areas of effective altruism to understand how it applies consequentialism to practice: (1) extreme poverty and poverty-induced health issues, (2) animal exploitation. The problems within both of the focus areas affect a vast number of living beings, deprive them of a fulfilled life and engender suffering in phenomenal amounts. The application of consequentialism to extreme poverty and poverty-induced health issues have been challenged by the objection from systemic change, that is, the postulation that extreme poverty and poverty-induced health issues cannot be solved unless their structural causes are addressed. Embracing the objection from systemic change, the systemic change paradigm is an umbrella term for different theories advocating a fundamental political transformation in contrast to the alleged band-aid solutions of effective altruism. Likewise, abolitionism as a rights-based approach to animals objects to effective altruism and its application of consequentialism to animal exploitation due to the incremental nature of the proposed solutions. The systemic change paradigm and abolitionism are in a way complementary as they have a common ground on challenging the consequentialist framework of effective altruism.

Fırat hopes to enhance effective altruism and find constructive solutions to the moral and political issues arising from its consequentialist framework.


(2016) "Preface to Hybrid Narratives", Hybrid Narratives

(2016) "The Fuzzy Science of Artwork... Velázquez and Doğan", Hybrid Narratives


(2017-Present) Treasurer, Effective Altruism Society: Warwick

(2016-Present) Co-Representative, Minorities and Philosophy

(2016-Present) Online Content Manager, Lacuna Magazine

(2014-Present) Editor-in-chief, Poedat Dergisi

(2012-Present) Founder, Poedat Kolektifi

(2011-2013) Executive Member, Philopolis Montreal


(2016) Scholarship for PhD Degree, Various Sponsors

(2014-6) Scholarship for Master's Degree, Istanbul Bilgi University

(2011-4) Scholarship for Undergraduate Degree, Vehbi Koç Foundation

(2011-2) Entrance Bursary, McGill University

(2010) Honorary Mention, 18th International Philosophy Olympiad, Harvard University

(2010) Gold Medal, 14th Philosophy Olympiad of Turkey, Philosophical Society of Turkey

(2009-10) Sir Peter Ustinov Outreach Award, European Council of International Schools

Selected Presentations, Lectures, Talks

(2015) "Body, monster, machine", Poedat Conference 2015

(2015) "The evolution, resistance and limit of the intellectual: Foucault and Benjamin", 2nd Graduate Students' Congress of the Philosophy Students' Association of Turkey

(2015) Talks in Power, Technology, Intellectual

(2015) Talks in 2nd Meeting on Existentialism

(2014-5) Talks in The Philosophy of Death: Heidegger ve Camus

(2014) Talks in 2014 Bodrum Philosophy Season II

(2014) Talks 2014 Bodrum Philosophy Season I

(2014) Talks in Ethics in the 21st Century

(2013) Talk in 1st Meeting on Existentialism

(2011-2013) Talks in different philosophy and literature events

Fırat Akova

Fırat Akova

f dot akova at warwick dot ac dot uk

2.69 Graduate Resource Room
Department of Philosophy
Social Sciences Building
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Fırat's Academia