David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Economics and Philosophy 13 (2):159-174 (1997)
Many people believe that we have responsibility towards the distant future, but exactly how far this responsibility reaches and how we can find a reasonable ethical foundation for it has not been answered in any definitive manner. Future people have no power over us, they form no part of our moral community and it is unclear how we can represent them in a possible original position. All these problems can be circumvented when you take an impersonal decision criterion like maximizing total or average utility. Such a sum-ranking criterion is neutral with respect to distance in time or space: my utility, my neighbour's and that of our descendants all carry the same weight. This makes future people an integral part of present decisions. Time-neutrality was defended by, among others, Sidgwick, Pigou and Ramsey.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
John Jamieson Carswell Smart & Bernard Williams (1973). Utilitarianism: For and Against. Cambridge University Press.
Henry Sidgwick (1907). The Methods of Ethics. Thoemmes Press.
James Cain (1995). Infinite Utility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (3):401 – 404.
Peter Vallentyne (1993). Utilitarianism and Infinite Utility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (2):212 – 217.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Denys A. Turner (2011). A Partially Skeptical Response to Hart and Russell. [REVIEW] In Michał Heller & W. H. Woodin (eds.), Infinity: New Research Frontiers. Cambridge University Press
R. I. Sikora (1979). Utilitarianism, Supererogation and Future Generations. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):461 - 466.
Jan Deckers (2011). Negative “GHIs,” the Right to Health Protection, and Future Generations. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):165-176.
Pierre Mallia & Henk ten Have (2003). From What Should We Protect Future Generations: Germ-Line Therapy or Genetic Screening? Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 6 (1):17-24.
Michael Mackenzie (1985). A Note on Motivation and Future Generations. Environmental Ethics 7 (1):63-69.
Steve Vanderheiden (2006). Conservation, Foresight, and the Future Generations Problem. Inquiry 49 (4):337 – 352.
William J. FitzPatrick (2007). Climate Change and the Rights of Future Generations. Environmental Ethics 29 (4):369-388.
Clark Wolf (1996). Markets, Justice, and the Interests of Future Generations. Ethics and the Environment 1 (2):153 - 175.
Ronald Jeurissen & Gerard Keijzers (2004). Future Generations and Business Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (1):47-69.
Added to index2010-08-10
Total downloads9 ( #363,969 of 1,907,220 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #466,442 of 1,907,220 )
How can I increase my downloads?