A Theory of Intergenerational Justice

Front Cover
Earthscan, Dec 1, 2009 - Law - 256 pages
0 Reviews
The appeal to 'our obligations to future generations' is one of the most forceful, emotional and effective arguments available to politicians and citizens and is the cornerstone of all modern policies aimed at sustainable development. Yet, the exact nature and extent of these obligations are unclear - who owes what to whom, exactly, and why?This highly accessible book provides an extensive and comprehensive overview of current research and theory about why and how we should protect future generations. It exposes how and why the interests of people today and those of future generations are often in conflict and what can be done. It rebuts critical concepts such as Parfits' 'non-identity' paradox and Beckerman's denial of any possibility of intergenerational justice. The core of the book is the lucid application of a 'veil of ignorance' to derive principles of intergenerational justice which show that our duties to posterity are stronger than is often supposed. Tremmel's approach demands that each generation both consider and improve the well-being of future generations. To measure the well-being of future generations Tremmel employs the Human Development Index rather than the metrics of utilitarian subjective happiness. The book thus answers in detailed, concrete terms the two most important questions of every theory of intergenerational justice: 'what to sustain' and 'how much to sustain?'Ultimately this book provides a theory of intergenerational justice that is both intellectually robust and practical with wide applicability to law, policy, economics, climate change and all other contexts that affect future generations.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction Mankinds increasing powers
1
The nomansland of ethics
3
Ethics of the future in a double sense
4
Distinguishing generational justice from sustainability
7
The role of philosophy
9
Outline of the book
10
Criteriabased Definitions of Scientific Terms
13
Four criteria for definitions
14
Summary
63
What to Sustain? Capital or Wellbeing as an Axiological Goal?
65
The wellbeing approach
91
Measuring wellbeing
108
Advantages and disadvantages of the capital approach and the wellbeing approach
141
A repugnant conclusion?
142
How Much to Sustain? The Demands of Justice in the Intergenerational Context
147
Rawls original position theory
150

Comparisons between Generations
19
Irrelevance of societal generations for intergenerational justice theories
21
Relevance of familyrelated generations for intergenerational justice theories
22
Direct and indirect comparisons of chronological generations
25
Comparisons between generations in various fields
28
Comparison of life courses
31
Summary
32
Objections to Theories of Generational Justice
35
Future individuals cannot have rights
46
Justice as the equal treatment of equal cases and the unequal treatment of unequal cases
171
Justice as reciprocity
183
Intergenerational justice as enabling advancement
196
Conclusion
201
Notes
205
References
231
Index
257
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Joerg Chet Tremmel is a Professor for "intergenerationally just policies" at the University of Tuebingen. He is Editor-in-chief of the Intergenerational Justice Review and a visiting lecturer at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University Frankfurt, the University of Stuttgart and the Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf, Germany

Bibliographic information