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Title: What we owe to future people : a contractualist account of intergenerational ethics
Author: Finneron-Burns, Elizabeth Mary
ISNI:       0000 0003 8037 4645
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis applies T.M. Scanlon's version of contractualism to the problem of future generations. I begin by analyzing Rawls' contractarian account of just savings and find that there is no plausible composition of the original position that can deal with the inclusion of future people. I then examine Scanlon's contractualism and some objections to it before moving on to applying it to future people. I argue that the disanalogies between the intra- and inter-generational contexts do not preclude including future people in the contractualist framework, and that the theory avoids the non-identity problem. Part II of the thesis applies contractualism to three intergenerational topics and develops principles governing them: resource conservation, procreation, and population size. To conclude, I address how to deal with the fact that, in the case of future generations, we often have imperfect knowledge of what they will need, how our actions will affect them, and how many of them there will be.
Supervisor: Caney, Simon L. R. Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Contractarianism (Ethics) ; Political science--Philosophy ; Intergenerational relations--Political aspects