Utilitas 28 (4): 415-440 (2016)

Merten Reglitz
University of Birmingham
The question whether distributive justice is at bottom practice-dependent or practice-independent has received much attention in recent years. I argue that the problem of intergenerational justice resolves this dispute in favor of practice-independence. Many believe that we owe more to our descendants than leaving them a world in which they can merely lead minimally decent lives. This thought is particularly convincing given the fact that it is us who determine to a significant extent what this future world will look like. However, no practices that would trigger distributive obligations exist between distant generations. Thus, if we have to leave more than a minimum for future generations, we cannot conceive of distributive justice in terms of the justification of ongoing social interactions. Rather we have to think of the entire concept as an idea based on persons’ legitimate interests and capacity for well-being, and which abstracts from participation in particular practices.
Keywords Practice-Independence  Intergenerational Justice  Well-being
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1017/s095382081600008x
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References found in this work BETA

The Problem of Global Justice.Thomas Nagel - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):113-147.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.C. L. Ten - 2003 - Mind 112 (447):563-566.
Global Justice, Reciprocity, and the State.Andrea Sangiovanni - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (1):3–39.
Justice and the Priority of Politics to Morality.Andrea Sangiovanni - 2008 - Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (2):137–164.

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