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Update: Fighting over (meaning of) Philanthropy

Felix Salmon

Felix Salmon


Matthew Bishop

Two of my favorite writers or “thought leaders” on economics and philanthropy, Felix Salmon of Reuters and Matthew “Philanthrocapitalist” Bishop of the Economist, continue their war of words here and here.


As I noted earlier, this all started when Salmon felt compelled to emphasize that the point of philanthropy is not to make a profit. Yeah, I know that sounds obvious. But, as he noted, there are lots of folks out there — he included Matthew Bishop among them — who seem to confuse business with philanthropy.

“All of this is profoundly silly,” Salmon said.

Matthew Bishop responded that it is, in fact, Salmon who is the muddle-headed one. He called Salmon a “bigot,” which I still don’t quite understand in this context. Bishop’s point is that there is nothing inherently wrong with profit-making and trying to help poor people.

Anyway, you can read their arguments for yourself.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.