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Title: The futurity compact : anticipation, interdependence and contract : the possibility and circumstances of justice over time
Author: McCormick, Hugh
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is about justice between people born at different times: the way in which they interact and the extent to which those interactions can be a matter of justice. Its principal aims are: to present certain theories that describe what justice over time might look like; to present certain theoretical problems for this subject; and to understand the impact of these problems upon these theories. The thesis draws mainly upon: the work of David Hume, John Rawls and David Gauthier as sources of certain social contract theories; and the work of Wilfred Beckerman, Gustaf Arrhenius and Derek Parfit for certain problems faced by these theories. The central argument of the thesis is that the theoretical obstacles to the application of justice thrown up by the temporal dimension are not as significant as they might appear. In particular, there are good reasons to believe that social contract theories are more susceptible to intertemporal extension and less encumbered by temporally-related problems than previously thought. The conclusion of the thesis is that, issuing from a clearer view of certain theoretical obstacles to their inclusion, there is significant potential for future people to be considered within the scope of justice over time as described by certain social contract theories and that present people have self-interested reasons to take this project seriously.
Supervisor: Miller, David Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science ; Social justice ; Practical ethics ; Ethics (Moral philosophy) ; justice ; generations ; intergenerational ; time