David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (3):237-257 (2005)
Intergenerational impartiality requires putting the welfare of future generations at par with that of our own. However, rational choice requires weighting all welfare values by the respective probabilities of realization. As the risk of non-survival of mankind is strictly positive for all time periods and as the probability of non-survival is cumulative, the probability weights operate like discount factors, though justified on a morally justifiable and completely different ground. Impartial intertemporal welfare maximization is acceptable, though the welfare of people in the very far future has lower effects as the probabilities of their existence are also lower. However, the effective discount rate on future welfare values (distinct from monetary values) justified on this ground is likely to be less than 0.1 per annum. Such discounting does not compromise environmental protection and sustainability unduly. The finiteness of our universe implies that the sum of our expected welfare to infinity remains finite, solving the paradox of having to compare different infinite values in optimal growth/conservation theories.
|Keywords||discounting environmental ethics impartiality intergenerational intertemporal probability sustainable development welfare|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Clive L. Spash (1993). Economics, Ethics, and Long-Term Environmental Damages. Environmental Ethics 15 (2):117-132.
Geoffrey Brennan (2007). Discounting the Future, yet Again. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):259-284.
Marie Pfiffelmann (2011). Solving the St. Petersburg Paradox in Cumulative Prospect Theory: The Right Amount of Probability Weighting. Theory and Decision 71 (3):325-341.
Gustav Tinghög (2012). Discounting, Preferences, and Paternalism in Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Health Care Analysis 20 (3):297-318.
David Spurrett, Jacques Rousseau & Don Ross, Reward Discounting and Severity of Disordered Gambling in a South African Population.
E. Wesley & F. Peterson (1993). Time Preference, the Environment and the Interests of Future Generations. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 6 (2):107-126.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #108,332 of 1,101,573 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #35,036 of 1,101,573 )
How can I increase my downloads?