Book

Future People

Tim Mulgan

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780199282203
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603624 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019928220X.001.0001
Future People

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This book develops a new theory of the obligations to future generations, based on a new Rule Consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. The result is a coherent, intuitively plausible moral theory that is not unreasonably demanding — even when extended to cover future people — and that accounts for a wide range of independently plausible intuitions covering individual morality, intergenerational justice, and international justice. In particular, it is superior to its two main rivals in this area: person-affecting theories and traditional Consequentialism. The former fall foul of Parfit’s Non-Identity Problem, while the latter are invariably implausibly demanding. Furthermore, many puzzles in contemporary value theory (such as Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion) are best solved if strict Consequentialism is abandoned for a more moderate alternative. The heart of the book is the first systematic exploration of the Rule Consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. This yields a strong commitment to reproductive freedom, and also provides the best foundation for a liberal theory of intergenerational and international justice. The final chapters argue that while it will include a Rule Consequentialist account of the morality of reproduction, the best overall moral theory is likely to be a composite one, such as the Combined Consequentialism the author developed in The Demands of Consequentialism.

Keywords: Consequentialism; future generations; Rule Consequentialism; intergenerational justice; international justice; Parfit; Repugnant Conclusion; demandingness; reproduction; non-identity

Book.  400 pages. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction in Future People

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The Contract Theory in Future People

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Value Theory in Future People

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Reproductive Freedom in Future People

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