Overcoming the motivational gap: A preliminary path to rethinking intergenerational justice

Human Affairs 29 (3):286-296 (2019)
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The paper frames the issue of intergenerational justice by addressing an historical source and a theoretical difficulty. In relation to the historical point of view, the paper offers a preliminary re-reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights aimed at revealing the intergenerational commitment that lies behind it (§1). In addressing the second point, it presents the issue of intergenerational justice from a phenomenological perspective (§2). In developing such a perspective, the paper articulates a comprehensive ethical question that is constitutively related to any possible shaping of an intergenerational justice theory (§3). In turn, the explanation of that question presents the opportunity to propose a theory of motivation for the elaboration and implementation of policies explicitly aimed at fulfilling the intergenerational need, beyond any skepticism arising from pragmatic objections. Finally, the paper proposes to address this need by presenting a model of obligation ranking in which the flexibility and strength of the normative bond for the present generation and future ones are considered (§4).



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Beyond a diachronic indifference? Grounding the normative commitment towards intergenerational justice.Alberto Pirni - 2023 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 26 (1):120-135.

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References found in this work

The paradox of future individuals.Gregory S. Kavka - 1982 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 11 (2):93-112.
Future generations as rightholders.Johan Brännmark - 2016 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19 (6):680-698.
Accepting Collective Responsibility for the Future.Stephen M. Gardiner - 2017 - Journal of Practical Ethics 5 (1):22-52.
Energy Justice and Intergenerational Ethics: Theoretical Perspectives and Institutional Designs.Giuseppe Pellegrini-Masini, Fausto Corvino & Lars Löfquist - 2019 - In Gunter Bombaerts, Kirsten Jenkins, Yekeen A. Sanusi & Wang Guoyu (eds.), Energy Justice Across Borders. Springer Verlag. pp. 253-272.

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