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The Circumstances of Intergenerational Justice

Brandstedt, Eric LU (2015) In Moral Philosophy and Politics 2(1). p.33-56
Abstract
Some key political challenges today, e.g. climate change, are future oriented. The intergenerational setting differs in some notable ways from the intragenerational one, creating obstacles to theorizing about intergenerational justice. One concern is that as the circumstances of justice do not pertain intergenerationally, intergenerational justice is not meaningful. In this paper, I scrutinize this worry by analysing the presentations of the doctrine of the circumstances of justice by David Hume and John Rawls. I argue that we should accept the upshot of their idea, that justice is context sensitive, even if this at first sight seems to invalidate intergenerational justice. On the basis of moral constructivism, I subsequently provide a... (More)
Some key political challenges today, e.g. climate change, are future oriented. The intergenerational setting differs in some notable ways from the intragenerational one, creating obstacles to theorizing about intergenerational justice. One concern is that as the circumstances of justice do not pertain intergenerationally, intergenerational justice is not meaningful. In this paper, I scrutinize this worry by analysing the presentations of the doctrine of the circumstances of justice by David Hume and John Rawls. I argue that we should accept the upshot of their idea, that justice is context sensitive, even if this at first sight seems to invalidate intergenerational justice. On the basis of moral constructivism, I subsequently provide a fresh reading of the doctrine according to which it conveys the idea that justice is the solution to a practical problem. However, as the problem background is evolving, we need to properly characterize the relevant practical problem in order to make ethical theorizing relevant. Contrary to what has been claimed, the circumstances of justice do not then clash with intergenerational justice, but are the necessary presuppositions for its advancement. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
The circumstances of justice, intergenerational justice, moral constructivism, intergenerational altruism, climate change
in
Moral Philosophy and Politics
volume
2
issue
1
pages
33 - 56
publisher
De Gruyter
ISSN
2194-5616
DOI
10.1515/mopp-2014-0018
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
00fcafad-32de-4a2c-9dfd-6bbfa453abc6 (old id 5384871)
date added to LUP
2015-05-13 13:14:53
date last changed
2016-04-15 21:29:02
@article{00fcafad-32de-4a2c-9dfd-6bbfa453abc6,
  abstract     = {Some key political challenges today, e.g. climate change, are future oriented. The intergenerational setting differs in some notable ways from the intragenerational one, creating obstacles to theorizing about intergenerational justice. One concern is that as the circumstances of justice do not pertain intergenerationally, intergenerational justice is not meaningful. In this paper, I scrutinize this worry by analysing the presentations of the doctrine of the circumstances of justice by David Hume and John Rawls. I argue that we should accept the upshot of their idea, that justice is context sensitive, even if this at first sight seems to invalidate intergenerational justice. On the basis of moral constructivism, I subsequently provide a fresh reading of the doctrine according to which it conveys the idea that justice is the solution to a practical problem. However, as the problem background is evolving, we need to properly characterize the relevant practical problem in order to make ethical theorizing relevant. Contrary to what has been claimed, the circumstances of justice do not then clash with intergenerational justice, but are the necessary presuppositions for its advancement.},
  author       = {Brandstedt, Eric},
  issn         = {2194-5616},
  keyword      = {The circumstances of justice,intergenerational justice,moral constructivism,intergenerational altruism,climate change},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {33--56},
  publisher    = {De Gruyter},
  series       = {Moral Philosophy and Politics},
  title        = {The Circumstances of Intergenerational Justice},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2014-0018},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2015},
}