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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The policies concerning, for instance, the mitigation of climate change that the current generation chooses to adopt will have far-reaching implications for the lives of future generations. What policies ought to be chosen depends, in part, on what justice requires with respect to the protection of the interests of those who will live in the further future. This chapter discusses the prospects for extending four prominent ways of thinking about justice within a generation to the intergenerational context—Rawlsian contractualism, Hobbesian contractarianism, the rights-based approach, and luck egalitarianism. It argues that none of them offer a wholly satisfactory approach to intergenerational justice. The final section of the chapter discusses whether obligations to protect the interests of future generations are in fact best understood as obligations of justice.

Keywords: future generations, Rawls, Gauthier, contractualism, contractarianism, luck egalitarianism, intergenerational cooperation, rights, climate change

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