The aim of this paper is to determine whether the present generation should preserve non-human living things for future generations, even if in the future all the contributions these organisms currently make to human survival in decent conditions were performed by adequate technology and future people's preferences were satisfied by this state of affairs. The paper argues it would be wrong to leave a world without non-human living plants, animals and other organisms to future generations, because such a world would fail to secure one of the conditions of future people’s autonomy, that is, availability of adequate options. Building upon Joseph Raz’s account of autonomy, the paper shows that the presence of non-human living organisms is part of an adequate range of options insofar as, to be adequate, options must meet a test of variety. According to Raz, options pass this test if they enable human agents to exercise a set of physical, affective, imaginative and cognitive capacities humans normally have an innate drive to exercise. The paper discusses empirical findings as well as psychological theories that provide support to the hypothesis that interactions with non-human living organisms enable human beings to develop and exercise these capacities by shaping these capacities in a special way, different from the way interactions with other environments do
Keywords Intergenerational justice  Open options  Environmental preservation  Joseph Raz  Autonomy
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9597-0
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.

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