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Intergenerational justice

Kelly, Paul (2015) Intergenerational justice. In: Wright, James D., (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier, London, UK, pp. 396-401. ISBN 9780080970875

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Identification Number: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.63036-2


Intergenerational justice poses challenges for standard theories of justice and morality because it presupposes the absence of the usual interpersonal connections that explain moral relationships. Can one use the analogy of a contract between two parties that could not interact, or where one side has an ineradicable ability to impose nonreciprocal harm? Can one have obligations to improve the welfare of those who don't exist and whose potential existence is conditional on the actions proposed? This article explores the ways standard theories such as contractarianism, utilitarianism, and communitarianism accommodate the claims of future people. It explores issues such as the nonidentity problem and various ‘repugnant conclusions,’ before challenging the skeptics with a threshold conception of universalism that supports environmental sustainability.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 15:54
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 02:34

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