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Matthew Rendall
University of Nottingham
  1.  43
    Discounting, Climate Change, and the Ecological Fallacy.Matthew Rendall - 2019 - Ethics 129 (3):441-463.
    Discounting future costs and benefits is often defended on the ground that our descendants will be richer. Simply to treat the future as better off, however, is to commit an ecological fallacy. Even if our descendants are better off when we average across climate change scenarios, this cannot justify discounting costs and benefits in possible states of the world in which they are not. Giving due weight to catastrophe scenarios requires energetic action against climate change.
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  2. Climate Change and the Threat of Disaster: The Moral Case for Taking Out Insurance at Our Grandchildren's Expense.Matthew Rendall - 2011 - Political Studies 59 (4):884-99.
    Is drastic action against global warming essential to avoid impoverishing our descendants? Or does it mean robbing the poor to give to the rich? We do not yet know. Yet most of us can agree on the importance of minimising expected deprivation. Because of the vast number of future generations, if there is any significant risk of catastrophe, this implies drastic and expensive carbon abatement unless we discount the future. I argue that we should not discount. Instead, the rich countries (...)
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  3. Non-Identity, Sufficiency and Exploitation.Matthew Rendall - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (2):229-247.
    This paper argues that we hold two key duties to future people: to leave them enough in an absolute sense, and to leave them their fair share. Even if we benefit people by bringing them into existence, we can wrongly exploit our position to take more than our share of benefits. As in paradigm cases of exploitation, just because future people might agree to the ‘bargain’, this does not mean that they receive enough.
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  4. Priority and Desert.Matthew Rendall - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):939-951.
    Michael Otsuka, Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey have challenged the priority view in favour of a theory based on competing claims. The present paper shows how their argument can be used to recast the priority view. All desert claims in distributive justice are comparative. The stronger a party’s claims to a given benefit, the greater is the value of her receiving it. Ceteris paribus, the worse-off have stronger claims on welfare, and benefits to them matter more. This can account for (...)
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  5. Mere Addition and the Separateness of Persons.Matthew Rendall - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (8):442-455.
    How can we resist the repugnant conclusion? James Griffin has plausibly suggested that part way through the sequence we may reach a world—let us call it “J”—in which the lives are lexically superior to those that follow. If it would be preferable to live a single life in J than through any number of lives in the next one, then it would be strange to judge K the better world. Instead, we may reasonably “suspend addition” and judge J superior, as (...)
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  6. Carbon Leakage and the Argument From No Difference.Matthew Rendall - 2015 - Environmental Values 24 (4):535-52.
    Critics of carbon mitigation often appeal to what Jonathan Glover has called ‘the argument from no difference’: that is, ‘If I don’t do it, someone else will’. Yet even if this justifies continued high emissions by the industrialised countries, it cannot excuse business as usual. The North’s emissions might not harm the victims of climate change in the sense of making them worse off than they would otherwise be. Nevertheless, it receives benefits produced at the latter’s expense, with the result (...)
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  7.  15
    Public Debt and Intergenerational Ethics: How to Fund a Green 'Apollo Program'?Matthew Rendall - forthcoming - Climate Policy.
    If the present generation refuses to bear the burden of mitigating global heating, could we motivate sufficient action by shifting that burden to our descendants? Several writers have proposed breaking the political impasse by funding mitigation through public debt. Critics attack such proposals as both unjust and infeasible. In fact, there is reason to think that some debt financing may be more equitable than placing the whole burden of mitigation on the present generation. While it might not be viable for (...)
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  8.  23
    Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed – And What It Means for Our Future.Matthew Rendall - 2017 - Contemporary Political Theory 16 (1):155-157.