Chapter

Future generations

Robin Attfield

in Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

Published in print December 2018 | ISBN: 9780198797166
Published online December 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191838651 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780198797166.003.0003

Series: Very Short Introductions

Future generations

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Concern about future generations stretches as far back as the Ten Commandments, but the belief that present people can significantly change the future originated as recently as the Enlightenment, along with the belief that our generation may be judged by posterity. ‘Future generations’ considers the moral standing of future generations; the fundamental objection to that belief—‘the Non-Identity Problem’; and the discounting of future interests. If it is agreed that future people and their interests matter, it is still widely held that their interests count for less than current interests. Future preferences and needs are discussed with some of the harmful practices that are detrimental to human and non-human health.

Keywords: environmental ethics; hydrofluorocarbon; Montreal Protocol; Onora O'Neill; Derek Parfit; Holmes Rolston III

Chapter.  4184 words. 

Subjects: Practical Ethics ; Social and Political Philosophy ; Environmental Monitoring

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