Parenting and Intergenerational Justice: Why Collective Obligations Towards Future Generations Take Second Place to Individual Responsibility [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (6):557-573 (2011)
Theories of intergenerational obligations usually take the shape of theories of distributive (social) justice. The complexities involved in intergenerational obligations force theorists to simplify. In this article I unpack two popular simplifications: the inevitability of future generations, and the Hardinesque assumption that future individuals are a burden on society but a benefit to parents. The first assumption obscures the fact that future generations consist of individuals whose existence can be a matter of voluntary choice, implying that there are individuals who are responsible and accountable for that choice and for its consequences. The second assumption ignores the fact that the benefits and burdens of future individuals are complex, and different for different “beneficiaries” or “victims.” Introducing individual responsibility for procreation as a (crucially) relevant variable, and allowing a more sophisticated understanding of the impact of new individuals, generates grounds to prioritize the individual’s interest in responsibility for (creating and equipping) future individuals over any collective intergenerational obligation. I illustrate this by introducing a series of moral duties that take precedence over, and perhaps even void, possible collective redistributive duties
|Keywords||Distributive justice Future generations Justice between generations Responsibility|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Ernest Partridge (1998). Should We Seek a Better Future? Ethics and the Environment 3 (1):81 - 95.
Jan Deckers (2011). Negative “GHIs,” the Right to Health Protection, and Future Generations. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):165-176.
Makoto Usami (2011). Intergenerational Justice: The Rights of Future People or the Duty of Fair Play. Tokyo Institute of Technology Department of Social Engineering Discussion Paper (2011-05):1-19.
Clive L. Spash (1993). Economics, Ethics, and Long-Term Environmental Damages. Environmental Ethics 15 (2):117-132.
Tim Mulgan (2006). Future People: A Moderate Consequentialist Account of Our Obligations to Future Generations. Oxford University Press.
Axel Gosseries (2003). Intergenerational Justice. In LaFollette H. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Lukas Meyer, Intergenerational Justice. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Janna Thompson (2009). Intergenerational Justice: Rights and Responsibilities in an Intergenerational Polity. Routledge.
Makoto Usami (2011). The Non-Identity Problem, Collective Rights, and the Threshold Conception of Harm. Tokyo Institute of Technology Department of Social Engineering Discussion Paper (2011-04):1-17.
Steve Vanderheiden (2006). Conservation, Foresight, and the Future Generations Problem. Inquiry 49 (4):337 – 352.
Added to index2010-07-26
Total downloads20 ( #70,423 of 1,008,759 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,700 of 1,008,759 )
How can I increase my downloads?