Last updated on: 11/17/2008 | Author:

Peter Singer, MA Biography

Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values of Princeton University
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Accepted in Sports?"

“People play sports to socialise, for exercise, to keep fit, to earn money, to become famous, to prevent boredom, to find love, and for the sheer fun of it. They may strive to improve their performance, but often they do so for its own sake, for the sense of achievement.

Popular participation in sport should be encouraged. Physical exercise makes people not only healthier, but also happier. To take drugs will usually be self-defeating. But elite sport, watched by millions but participated in by few, is different. For the sake of fame and glory now, athletes will be tempted to risk their long-term health…

The problem is not with the athletes, but with us. We cheer them on. We acclaim them when they win. And no matter how blatant the drug use may be, we don’t stop watching the Tour de France. Maybe we should just turn off the television and get on our own bikes.”

“Why Not Let Doping Close the Gene Gap?,” Japan Times, Aug. 19, 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 1999-2004, part-time, 2005-Present
  • Laureate Professor, University of Melbourne, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, part-time, 2005-Present
  • Included in “The Time 100”, Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people, Apr. 18, 2005
  • Member, Oxfam America Leadership Council, 2003-Present
  • Editorial Board, Reason in Practice, 2001-Present
  • Vice-President, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2001-Present
  • Member, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, Advisory Committee to the Program Committee, 2000-Present
  • Editorial Board, Philosophy and Geography, 2000-Present
  • President, Animal Rights International, 1999-Present
  • Co-Director, Institute for Ethics and Public Policy, Monash University, 1992-1995
  • Director, Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, part-time, 1983-1987, full-time, 1987-1991; Deputy Director, 1992-1997
  • Chair, Department of Philosophy, Monash University, 1977-1978, 1980-1981
  • Professor, Department of Philosophy, Monash University, 1977-1999
  • Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, La Trobe University, 1975-1976
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, New York University, 1973-1974
  • BPhil, University of Oxford, 1971
  • MA, University of Melbourne, 1969
  • BA, University of Melbourne, 1967
  • Australian Humanist of the Year, Australian Humanist Association, 2004
  • Humanist Laureate, International Academy of Humanism, elected 2004
  • Emperor Has No Clothes Award, Freedom from Religion Foundation, 2004
  • World Technology Network Ethics Award, 2003
  • Shasha Seminar Keynote Lecturer, Wesleyan University, Nov. 2003
  • Lewis B. Frumkes Lecture, New York University, Nov. 2003
  • Amnesty Lecture, Oxford University, Feb. 2001
  • Sprague-Taylor Philosophy Lecture, Brooklyn College, 2001
  • Wesson Lecturer, Stanford University, May 2000
  • Terry Lecturer, Yale University, Oct./Nov. 2000
  • The Times/Demos Millennium Lecturer, London, May 1995
  • National Book Council of Australia, Banjo Award for Non-fiction, 1995
  • New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards Lecturer, Sydney, 1995
  • De Camp Lecturer, Princeton University, 1992