Should the current members of a community compensate the victims of their ancestor’s emissions of greenhouse gases? I argue that the previous generation of polluters may not have been morally responsible for the harms they caused.I also accept the view that the polluters’ descendants cannot be morally responsible for their ancestor’s harmful emissions. However, I show that, while granting this, a suitably defined notion of moral free-riding may still account for the moral obligation of the polluters’ descendants to compensate the (...) current victims of their ancestors’ actions. A concept of transgenerational free-riding is defined. Objections to the idea of using free-riding as part of a theory of justice are rejected. Two different views of moral free-riding are contrasted, with consequences for the amount of compensation to be exigible from the polluters’ descendants. Some final considerations are devoted to the possible relevance of this free-riding-based view for other issues of historical injustice. (shrink)
In times of climate change and public debt, a concern for intergenerational justice should lead us to have a closer look at theories of intergenerational justice. It should also press us to provide institutional design proposals to change the decision-making world that surrounds us. This book provides an exhaustive overview of the most important institutional proposals as well as a systematic and theoretical discussion of their respective features and advantages. It focuses on institutional proposals aimed at taking the interests of (...) future generations more seriously, and does so from the perspective of applied political philosophy, being explicit about the underlying normative choices and the latest developments in the social sciences. It provides citizens, activists, firms, charities, public authorities, policy-analysts, students, and academics with the body of knowledge necessary to understand what our institutional options are and what they entail if we are concerned about today's excessive short-termism. (shrink)
This Introduction tells the story of intergerational justice and how it has influenced philosophers and political thinkers throughout history. The Introduction goes on to discuss the aims of the book, which is to offer a sustained discussion of intergenerational justice as seen by practical philosophers. The first part of the book focuses on the way in which various schools of thought in moral and political philosophy approach the domain of intergenerational justice, while the second part focuses on more specific aspects, (...) such as how these theories address the question of motivation, how they deal with demographic fluctuations, or how they can be applied to real-world issues such as climate change. (shrink)
Is it fair to leave the next generation a public debt? Is it defensible to impose legal rules on them through constitutional constraints? From combating climate change to ensuring proper funding for future pensions, concerns about ethics between generations are everywhere. In this volume sixteen philosophers explore intergenerational justice. Part One examines the ways in which various theories of justice look at the matter. These include libertarian, Rawlsian, sufficientarian, contractarian, communitarian, Marxian and reciprocity-based approaches. In Part Two, the authors look (...) more specifically at issues relevant to each of these theories, such as motivation to act fairly towards future generations, the population dimension, the formation of preferences through education and how they impact on our intergenerational obligations, and whether it is fair to rely on constitutional devices. (shrink)
This report by the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage addresses how countries can make fair progress towards the goal of universal coverage. It explains the relevant tradeoffs between different desirable ends and offers guidance on how to make these tradeoffs.
La présente contribution vise à offrir au lecteur une présentation de la doctrine suffisantiste de la justice, de ses justifications générales et spécifiques et de son articulation possible avec d’autres théories de la justice. Elle explore certains aspects plus particuliers tels que la place de la responsabilité en son sein, son applicabilité au domaine intergénérationnel ou son positionnement par rapport à la question des « vies-complètes ». Elle montre aussi en quoi, quelles que soient les faiblesses possibles de cette doctrine, (...) elle présente des caractéristiques la rendant non redondante, en particulier par rapport à l’égalitarisme du leximin.This paper aims at presenting sufficientarianism, its justifications, specificities and the ways in which it can be combined with other theories of justice. We also explore more specific dimensions such as the place of responsibility-sensitivity, the doctrine’s application to the intergenerational realm or its interest for « complete-life » questions. We show to what extent, despite some weaknesses, it is not redundant when compared to or combined with leximin egalitarianism. (shrink)
The first debate in this article has to do with the very possibility of intergenerational justice beyond our obligations towards members of other generations while they coexist with us. Here, we ask ourselves whether we owe anything to people who either have died already, or are not yet born. Differences in temporal location mean that people may not exist at the same time — be it only during part of their life — which raises special ethical challenges. It is one (...) thing to decide whether we owe anything to the next generation(s). It is another to define what we owe them. Most standard theories of justice have tried to answer this difficult question. This article focuses on a comparison between a reciprocity-based and an egalitarian account of justice between generations. It then turns, on the one hand, to a brief discussion of alternative theories and, on the other hand, to implementation issues. (shrink)
This chapter explores the specificities, strengths, and weaknesses of the idea of reciprocity as a basis for intergenerational obligations. Three models are presented: descending, ascending, and double reciprocity. Each of these three models is tested against three objections. The first objection asks why having received something from someone would necessarily entail the obligation to give back. The second objection questions the ability of each model to justify the direction of reciprocation. A final objection looks at the extent to which reciprocity-based (...) views adjust the content of our obligation to the fluctuations in population size. (shrink)
In this paper, the author offers a synoptic view of different theories of intergenerational justice, along two dimensions (savings/dissavings) and three modalities (prohibition, authorisation, obligation). After presenting successively the indirect reciprocity, the mutual advantage, the utilitarian and the Lockean approaches, special attention is given to the egalitarian theory of intergenerational justice. Two key differences between the egalitarian view on intergenerational justice and the sufficientarian interpretation of sustainability are highlighted.
Should the foreign debt of the world’s poorest countries be cancelled? In this essay, I am concerned with whether a generational perspective makes a difference in answering this question. I will show that it does, and that alternative accounts of repayment obligations are possible. I argue that a distributive theory of justice is not only appropriate to address the challenges to justice raised by long-term sovereign indebtedness, but that it is also superior to the solution offered by the odious debt (...) doctrine.Unlike the odious debt doctrine, a distributive view is capable of taking intoaccount the separateness of generations. More speciﬁcally, I also argue thatthe need to preserve creditors’ incentives to lend to the poor in order toensure that the latter keep having access to credit for important development purposes requires the adoption of a narrow, problem-speciﬁc view, which focuses on the distributive impact of the loan transaction, rather than a broad distributive view, which looks at the general distributive situation of the two descendent communities. (shrink)
What should maximin egalitarians think about seniority privileges? We contrast a good-specific and an all-things-considered perspective. As to the former, inertia and erasing effects of a seniority-based allocation of benefits from employment are identified, allowing us to spot the categories of workers and job-seekers made involuntarily worse off by such a practice. What matters however is to find out whether abolishing seniority privileges will bring about a society in which the all-things-considered worst off people are better off than in the (...) seniority rule's presence. An assessment of the latter's cost-reduction potential is thus needed, enabling us to bridge a practice taking place within a firm with its impact on who the least well off members of society are likely to be. Three accounts of the profitability of seniority privileges are discussed: the “(firm specific) human capital”, the “deferred compensation” and the “knowledge transfer” ones. The respective relevance of “good-specific” and “all-things-considered” analysis is discussed. It turns out that under certain circumstances, a maximin egalitarian case for seniority privileges could be made. Senior: Do you know that they are planning layoffs? Of course, it is only fair that they lay-off the newcomers first! After all, I have been loyal to the company for many years. Junior: Did I choose to be a newcomer? Footnotes1 Many thanks to two anonymous referees, to P.-M. Boulanger, B. Cockx, C. Fabre, L. Jacquet, E. Lazear, I. Robeyns, G. Vallée, Y. Vanderborght, Ph. Van Parijs, V. Vansteenberghe and J. de Wispelaere for their help and critical comments. Earlier versions of this paper were presented in Louvain-la-Neuve, Ghent, Montevideo and London. I am very grateful to these audiences. Special thanks to G. Brennan for his extensive and extremely valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The usual disclaimers apply. (shrink)
La cobertura universal de salud está en el centro de la acción actual para fortalecer los sistemas de salud y mejorar el nivel y la distribución de la salud y los servicios de salud. Este documento es el informe fi nal del Grupo Consultivo de la OMS sobre la Equidad y Cobertura Universal de Salud. Aquí se abordan los temas clave de la justicia (fairness) y la equidad que surgen en el camino hacia la cobertura universal de salud. Por lo (...) tanto, el informe es pertinente para cada agente que infl uye en ese camino y en particular para los gobiernos, ya que se encargan de supervisar y guiar el progreso hacia la cobertura universal de salud. (shrink)
In this introduction, the author briefly presents the way in which Clayton, Segall and Lippert-Rasmussen deal with what egalitarianism has to say about non-discrimination in hiring. Parallels and differences between their approaches are stressed.
This paper provides a comparative analysis of the way in which, as well as the extent to which, two key variables potentially allow for the development of more left-wing versions of libertarianism and hobbesianism. It turns out that hobbesianism, while disposing of ways to extend the scope of what should be seen as the “cooperative surplus”, is in trouble when it comes to justifying “equal division” as a general rule to divide up such a surplus. In contrast, libertarianism can meaningfully (...) rely on strategies extending the notion of external resources as well as on an equal division rule. We then explore what this entails with respect to the capacity of such theories to offer more redistributive versions than their standard forms. We also briefly look at how to map such left-wing versions, and especially left-libertarianism, once they are compared with other theories such as luck egalitarianism or sufficientarianism. (shrink)
For maximin egalitarians, the intergene rational context raises a threefold challenge. First, doesn't intergenerational maximin simply require a prohibition on dissavings, as a commutative conception of justice based on indirect reciprocity does ? Second, shouldn't we take seriously the aggregative worries of utilitarians in order not to remain eternally stuck into misery. Thus, shouldn't we abandon maximin ? Third, don't we find ourselves in a context where standard egalitarianism and maximin egalitarianism would coincide ? The A. provides a negative answer (...) to each of these three questions. He indicates in particular the extent to which maximin egalitarianism does not simply amount to a non-dis-savings rule. He stresses the way in which we should think about intergenerational justice in a properly distributive manner and he examines the way in which we can deal with the « aggregative challenge ». (shrink)
Doit-on attendre des membres actuels d'une communauté qu'ils compensent les victimes des émissions de gaz à effet de serre causées par leurs ancêtres? Nous défendons l'idée que les générations précédentes de pollueurs peuvent très bien ne pas être mo-ralement responsables des dommages qu'elles ont causés. Et nous acceptons aussi la position selon laquelle les descendants d'une génération de pollueurs ne sauraient être tenus pour res-ponsables des dommages engendrés par leurs ancêtres. Il n'en subsiste pas moins que même si l'on effectue (...) ces deux concessions, il reste possible de défendre l'idée d'obligation des des-cendants d'une génération de pollueurs à compenser les victimes actuelles des actions de leurs ancêtres, et ce sur base d'une notion morale de free-riding transgénérationnel. Une définition est proposée et des objections au recours à une telle notion sont rejetées. Suit une comparaison de deux logiques possibles sous-tendant l'utilisation d'un concept de free-riding dans le cadre d'une théorie de la justice, ainsi qu'un examen de leurs implications pratiques. (shrink)