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Future Generations

Edited by Ori Herstein (King's College London, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
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  1. Stuart Rachels - (1999). Review Essay of Contingent Future Persons, Jan C. Heller and Nick Fotion, Eds. [REVIEW] Bioethics 13:160-167.
    This essay critically comments on Contingent Future Persons (1997), an anthology of thirteen papers on the same topic as Obligations to Future Generations (1978), namely, the morality of decisions affecting the existence, number and identity of future persons. In my discussion, I identify the basic point of dispute between R. M. Hare and Michael Lockwood on potentiality; I criticize Nick Fotion's thesis that the Repugnant Conclusion is too far-fetched to be philosophically valuable; I object to Clark Wolf's "Impure Consequentialist Theory (...)
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  2. Matthew Adler (2009). Future Generations: A Prioritarian View. George Washington Law Review 77:1478-1520.
    Should we remain neutral between our interests and those of future generations? Or are we ethically permitted or even required to depart from neutrality and engage in some measure of intergenerational discounting? This Article addresses the problem of intergenerational discounting by drawing on two different intellectual traditions: the social welfare function (“SWF”) tradition in welfare economics, and scholarship on “prioritarianism” in moral philosophy. Unlike utilitarians, prioritarians are sensitive to the distribution of well-being. They give greater weight to well-being changes affecting (...)
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  3. Emanuel Agius & Salvino Busuttil (eds.) (1994). What Future for Future Generations?: A Programme of Unesco and the International Environment Institute. Foundation for International Studies, University of Malta.
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  4. Gustaf Arrhenius, Future Generations: A Challenge for Moral Theory.
    FD-Diss., Uppsala: University Printers, 2000 (ix+225 pages).
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  5. Gustaf Arrhenius, The Paradoxes of Future Generations and Normative Theory.
    As the title of this paper indicates, I’m going to discuss what we ought to do in situations where our actions affect future generations. More specifically, I shall focus on the moral problems raised by cases where our actions affect who’s going to live, their number and their well being. I’ll start, however, with population axiology. Most discussion in population ethics has concentrated on how to evaluate populations in regard to their goodness, that is, how to order populations by the (...)
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  6. Gustaf Arrhenius (1999). Mutual Advantage Contractarianism and Future Generations. Theoria 65 (1):25-35.
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  7. Robin Attfield (2011). Nolt, Future Harm and Future Quality of Life. Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (1):11-13.
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  8. Robin Attfield (1998). Environmental Ethics and Intergenerational Equity. Inquiry 41 (2):207 – 222.
    Possible environmental and related impacts of human activity are shown to include the extinction of humanity and other sentient species, excessive human numbers, and a deteriorating quality of life (I). I proceed to argue that neither future rights, nor Kantian respect for future people's autonomy, nor a contract between the generations supplies a plausible basis of obligations with regard to future generations. Obligations concern rather promoting the well-being of the members of future generations, whoever they may be, as well as (...)
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  9. Bertram Bandman (1982). Do Future Generations Have the Right to Breathe Clean Air? A Note. Political Theory 10 (1):95-102.
  10. Volkert Beekman (2004). Sustainable Development and Future Generations. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (1):3-22.
    This paper argues, mainly on the basis of Rawls''s savings principle, Wissenburg''s restraint principle, Passmore's chains of love, and De-Shalit's transgenerational communities, for a double interpretation of sustainable development as a principle of intergenerational justice and a future-oriented green ideal. This double interpretation (1) embraces the restraint principle and the argument that no individualcan claim an unconditional right to destroy environmental goods as a baseline that could justify directive strategies for government intervention in non-sustainable lifestyles, and (2) suggests that people's (...)
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  11. Brian Berkey (2014). State Action, State Policy, and the Doing/Allowing Distinction. Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (2):147-149.
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  12. Stephen Bickham (1981). Future Generations and Contemporary Ethical Theory. Journal of Value Inquiry 15 (2):169-177.
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  13. David Boonin-vail (1996). Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Two Paradoxes About Duties to Future Generations. Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (4):267–307.
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  14. Jason Borenstein (2009). The Wisdom of Caution: Genetic Enhancement and Future Children. Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (4):517-530.
    Many scholars predict that the technology to modify unborn children genetically is on the horizon. According to supporters of genetic enhancement, allowing parents to select a child’s traits will enable him/her to experience a better life. Following their logic, the technology will not only increase our knowledge base and generate cures for genetic illness, but it may enable us to increase the intelligence, strength, and longevity of future generations as well. Yet it must be examined whether supporters of genetic enhancement, (...)
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  15. Nick Bostrom (2009). The Future of Humanity. In Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, Evan Selinger & Søren Riis (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Technology. Palgrave Macmillan.
    The future of humanity is often viewed as a topic for idle speculation. Yet our beliefs and assumptions on this subject matter shape decisions in both our personal lives and public policy – decisions that have very real and sometimes unfortunate consequences. It is therefore practically important to try to develop a realistic mode of futuristic thought about big picture questions for humanity. This paper sketches an overview of some recent attempts in this direction, and it offers a brief discussion (...)
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  16. Paul Bou-Habib (2010). Climate Change, Justice and Future Generations. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (1):151-153.
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  17. Geoffrey Brennan (2007). Discounting the Future, yet Again. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):259-284.
    discounting the future' is one on which philosophers and economists have divergent professional views. There is a lot of talking at cross-purposes across the disciplinary divide here; but there is a fair bit of confusion (I think) within disciplines as well. My aim here is essentially clarificatory. I draw several distinctions that I see as significant: • between inter-temporal and intergenerational questions • between price (discount rate) and quantity (inter-temporal and intergenerational allocations) as the ethically relevant magnitude, and • between (...)
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  18. Simon Caney (2014). Climate Change, Intergenerational Equity and the Social Discount Rate. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (4):320-342.
    Climate change is projected to have very severe impacts on future generations. Given this, any adequate response to it has to consider the nature of our obligations to future generations. This paper seeks to do that and to relate this to the way that inter-generational justice is often framed by economic analyses of climate change. To do this the paper considers three kinds of considerations that, it has been argued, should guide the kinds of actions that one generation should take (...)
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  19. Simon Caney (2009). Climate Change and the Future: Discounting for Time, Wealth, and Risk. Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (2):163-186.
    This paper examines explore the issues of intergenerational equity raised by climate change. A number of different reasons have been suggested as to why current generations may legitimately favor devoting resources to contemporaries rather than to future generations. These - either individually or jointly - challenge the case for combating climate change. In this paper, I distinguish between three different kinds of reason for favoring contemporaries. I argue that none of these arguments is persuasive. My answer in each case appeals (...)
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  20. Norman S. Care (1982). Future Generations, Public Policy, and the Motivation Problem. Environmental Ethics 4 (3):195-213.
    A motivation problem may arise when morally principled public policy calls for serious sacrifice, relative to ways of life and levels of well-being, on the part of the members of a free society. Apart from legal or other forms of “external” coercion, what will, could, or should move people to make the sacrifices required by morality? I explore the motivation problem in the context of morally principled public policy concerning our legacy for future generations. In this context the problem raises (...)
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  21. Francisco Javier Carod-Artal, Pablo Martinez-Martin & Antonio Pedro Vargas (forthcoming). Future Generations, Locke's Proviso and Libertarian Justice. Journal of Applied Philosophy.
  22. Kai M. A. Chan (2003). Intransitivity and Future Generations: Debunking Parfit's Mere Addition Paradox. Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):187–200.
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  23. T. Chappell (2001). Tae-Chang Kim and Ross Harrison Self and Future Generations: An Intercultural Conversation. Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (1):99-102.
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  24. Elizabeth F. Cooke (2003). Germ–Line Engineering, Freedom, and Future Generations. Bioethics 17 (1):32–58.
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  25. Joseph L. Daleiden (1998). The Science of Morality: The Individual, Community, and Future Generations. Prometheus Books.
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  26. Richard S. Davis (1982). Responsibilities to Future Generations: Environmental Ethics. Environmental Ethics 4 (1):75-83.
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  27. Avner de-Shalit (1992). Community and the Rights of Future Generations: A Reply to Robert Elliot. Journal of Applied Philosophy 9 (1):105-115.
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  28. Jan Deckers (2011). Negative “GHIs,” the Right to Health Protection, and Future Generations. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):165-176.
    The argument has been made that future generations of human beings are being harmed unjustifiably by the actions individuals commit today. This paper addresses what it might mean to harm future generations, whether we might harm them, and what our duties toward future generations might be. After introducing the Global Health Impact (GHI) concept as a unit of measurement that evaluates the effects of human actions on the health of all organisms, an incomplete theory of human justice is proposed. Having (...)
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  29. Göran Duus-Otterström (2013). The Problem of Past Emissions and Intergenerational Debts. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (4):1-22.
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  30. Kristian skagen Ekeli (2009). Constitutional Experiments: Representing Future Generations Through Submajority Rules. Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4):440-461.
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  31. Kristian Skagen Ekeli (2007). Green Constitutionalism: The Constitutional Protection of Future Generations. Ratio Juris 20 (3):378-401.
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  32. Kristian Skagen Ekeli (2006). The Principle of Liberty and Legal Representation of Posterity. Res Publica 12 (4):385-409.
    This paper considers a guardianship model for the legal representation of future generations. According to this model, national and international courts should be given the competence to appoint guardians for future generations, if agents who care about the welfare of posterity apply for the creation of a guardianship in relation to a dispute that can be resolved by the application of law. This reform would grant guardians of future people legal standing or locus standi before courts, that is, the right (...)
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  33. Kristian Skagen Ekeli (2005). Giving a Voice to Posterity – Deliberative Democracy and Representation of Future People. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (5):429-450.
    The aim of this paper is to consider whether some seats in a democratically elected legislative assembly ought to be reserved for representatives of future generations. In order to examine this question, I will propose a new democratic model for representing posterity. It is argued that this model has several advantages compared with a model for the democratic representation of future people previously suggested by Andrew Dobson. Nevertheless, the democratic model that I propose confronts at least two difficult problems. First, (...)
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  34. Kristian Skagen Ekeli (2004). Environmental Risks, Uncertainty and Intergenerational Ethics. Environmental Values 13 (4):421-448.
    The way our decisions and actions can affect future generations is surrounded by uncertainty. This is evident in current discussions of environmental risks related to global climate change, biotechnology and the use and storage of nuclear energy. The aim of this paper is to consider more closely how uncertainty affects our moral responsibility to future generations, and to what extent moral agents can be held responsible for activities that inflict risks on future people. It is argued that our moral responsibility (...)
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  35. Robert Elliot (1989). The Rights of Future People. Journal of Applied Philosophy 6 (2):159-170.
    It has been argued by some that the present non-existence of future persons entails that whatever obligations we have towards them are not based on rights which they have or might come to have. This view is refuted. It is argued that the present non-existence of future persons is no impediment to the attribution of rights to them. It is also argued that, even if the present non-existence of future persons were an impediment to the attribution of rights to them, (...)
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  36. Robert Elliot (1986). Future Generations, Locke's Proviso and Libertarian Justice. Journal of Applied Philosophy 3 (2):217-227.
    Libertarian justice arguably permits much that is harsh. It might plausibly be thought to generate only minimal obligations on the part of present people toward future generations. This turns out not to be so, at least on Nozick's version of libertarian justice, which is among the most thoroughly worked-out versions. Nozickian justice generates extensive obligations to future people. This provides an indirect argument for environmentalist policies such as resource conservation and wilderness preservation. The basis for these obligations is Nozick's use (...)
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  37. Stephen Gardiner, Protecting Future Generations.
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  38. Stephen M. Gardiner, Simon Caney, Dale Jamieson & Henry Shue (2010). Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. OUP USA.
    This collection gathers a set of seminal papers from the emerging area of ethics and climate change. Topics covered include human rights, international justice, intergenerational ethics, individual responsibility, climate economics, and the ethics of geoengineering. Climate Ethics is intended to serve as a source book for general reference, and for university courses that include a focus on the human dimensions of climate change. It should be of broad interest to all those concerned with global justice, environmental science and policy, and (...)
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  39. James Garvey (2011). Climate Change and Causal Inefficacy: Why Go Green When It Makes No Difference? Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 69:157-174.
    Reflection on personal choices and climate change can lead to the thought that nothing an individual does can possibly make a difference to the planet’s future. So why bother going green? This is a version of the problem of causal inefficacy, and it is a particular problem for those with consequentialist leanings. Voters and vegetarians are consulted for help, and a suggestive thought about consistency is pursued. Consequentialist arguments for governmental action are shored up with reflection on consistency, and, hopefully, (...)
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  40. Walter Glannon (2001). Genes and Future People: Philosophical Issues in Human Genetics. Westview Press.
    Advances in genetic technology in general and medical genetics in particular will enable us to intervene in the process of human biological development which extends from zygotes and embryos to people. This will allow us to control to a great extent the identities and the length and quality of the lives of people who already exist, as well as those we bring into existence in the near and distant future. Genes and Future People explores two general philosophical questions, one metaphysical, (...)
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  41. Axel Gosseries (2008). On Future Generations' Future Rights. Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (4):446-474.
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  42. Axel Gosseries (1998). L'éthique environnementale aujourd'hui. Revue Philosophique De Louvain 96 (3):395-426.
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  43. Matthew Hanser (1990). Harming Future People. Philosophy and Public Affairs 19 (1):47-70.
  44. Russell Hardin (2010). The Costs and Benefits of Future Generations. In Christi Favor, Gerald F. Gaus & Julian Lamont (eds.), Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics: Integration & Common Research Projects. Stanford Economics and Finance.
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  45. Lauren Hartzell (2011). Responsibility for Emissions: A Commentary on John Nolt's 'How Harmful Are the Average American's Greenhouse Gas Emissions?'. Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (1):15-17.
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  46. Joseph Heath (2013). The Structure of Intergenerational Cooperation. Philosophy and Public Affairs 41 (1):31-66.
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  47. Avram Hiller (2011). Morally Significant Effects of Ordinary Individual Actions. Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (1):19-21.
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  48. Marion Hourdequin & David G. Havlick (2011). Ecological Restoration in Context: Ethics and the Naturalization of Former Military Lands. Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (1):69-89.
  49. D. Clayton Hubin (1976). Justice and Future Generations. Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (1):70-83.
    In A Theory of Justice, Rawls attempts to ground intergenerational justice by "virtual representation" through a thickening of the veil of ignorance. Contractors don't know to what generation they belong. This approach is flawed and will not result in the just savings principle Rawls hopes to justify. The project of grounding intergenerational duties on a social contractarian foundation is misconceived. Non-overlapping generations do not stand in relation to one another that is central to the contractarian approach.
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  50. Mathew Humphrey (2009). Mapping the Moral Future: Environmental Problems and What We Owe to Future Generations. Res Publica 15 (1):85-95.
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