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date: 25 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The field of intergenerational ethics has been largely centered on the question of what we owe those who are temporally distant. This interest was prompted by the growing awareness that many natural resources were nonrenewable and that future generations risked being disadvantaged or harmed in a variety of central respects. This understandable emphasis on temporal distance should, however, not lead one to disregard matters of justice between contemporary generations (between baby boomers and millennials, for instance) as straightforward or uninteresting. Inequalities between young and old crystallize significant and complex political and economic tensions in the sphere of employment, pensions, healthcare, housing, and political representation. This chapter introduces and responds to significant philosophical puzzles about the fair distribution of resources between individuals at different stages of their lives. The author provides a conceptual framework to approach matters of both age group and birth cohort justice and looks at how one of the chief values of distributive justice—equality—plays out in the field of justice between coexisting generations.

Keywords: age group, birth cohort, age discrimination, relational equality, youth

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