The Claims of Future Persons

Erkenntnis 83 (1):43-59 (2018)
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This paper defends a deontological egalitarianism in the ethics of future generations. Concerns about the non-identity problem have been taken as a reason to develop sufficientarian approaches to intergenerational justice. This paper argues for a solution to the non-identity problem that refers to the claims of future persons. In principle, the content of these claims could be spelled out with a sufficientarian and an egalitarian approach. What speaks against sufficientarianism, however, is that the sufficiency threshold, unless it is set very low, would have to be set arbitrarily. The hidden justification behind a higher threshold would be egalitarian. It draws its plausibility from the justified belief that future persons have a claim on us that we leave equally valuable shares of natural resources to them.



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Kirsten Meyer
Humboldt-University, Berlin

Citations of this work

The nonidentity problem.Melinda Roberts - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Klimaaktivismus als ziviler Ungehorsam.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2022 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 9 (1):77-114.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Volume Three.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press UK.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.

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