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Future People

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What do we owe to our descendants? How do we balance their needs against our own? Tim Mulgan develops a new theory of our obligations to future generations, based on a new rule-consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. He argues that the resulting theory accounts for a wide range of independently plausible intuitions--covering individual morality, intergenerational justice, and international justice. In particular, the moderate consequentialist approach 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. Mulgan also claims that most puzzles in contemporary value theory (such as Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion) are actually puzzles in the theory of right action, and can only be solved if we abandon strict consequentialism 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. Mulgan demostrates that this account is superior to all available alternatives, both consequentialist and non-consequentialist. Once we recognize the intergenerational dimension, moral and political philosophy cannot be considered in isolation. The latter must be founded on the former. Rule consequentialism provides the best foundation for a theory of intergenerational justice.

Future People brings together several different contemporary philosophical discussions: obligations to future generations, the morality of individual reproduction, the demands of morality, and international justice. While the focus is on developing a new account, there are also substantial discussions of alternative views, especially contract-based accounts of intergenerational justice and competing forms of consequentialism.

Synopsis:

What do we owe to our descendants? How do we balance their needs against our own? Tim Mulgan develops a new theory of our obligations to future generations, based on a new rule-consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. He also brings together several different contemporary philosophical discussions, including the demands of morality and international justice. His aim is to produce a coherent, intuitively plausible moral theory that is not unreasonably demanding, even when extended to cover future people. While the book focuses on developing this new account, there are also substantial discussions of alternative views, especially contract-based accounts of intergenerational justice and competing forms of consequentialism.

About the Author

Tim Mulgan is Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy at the University of St Andrews

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Contract Theory

3. Value Theory

4. Hybrid Moral Theories

5. Rule Consequentialism

6. Reproductive Freedom

7. Optimism and Pessimism

8. Disagreement and Uncertainty

9. International Justice

10. The Limits of Rule Consequentialism

11. Dividing Morality

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199282203
Author:
Mulgan, Tim
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Subject:
Duty
Subject:
Consequentialism (Ethics)
Subject:
Philosophy | Ethics
Subject:
Moral Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy | Ethics and Moral Philosophy
Subject:
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Subject:
Political
Publication Date:
20060231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Pages:
402
Dimensions:
6.1 x 9.3 x 1.2 in 1.644 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
Humanities » Philosophy » Ethics
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » Words Phrases and Language

Future People New Hardcover
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Product details 402 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199282203 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , What do we owe to our descendants? How do we balance their needs against our own? Tim Mulgan develops a new theory of our obligations to future generations, based on a new rule-consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. He also brings together several different contemporary philosophical discussions, including the demands of morality and international justice. His aim is to produce a coherent, intuitively plausible moral theory that is not unreasonably demanding, even when extended to cover future people. While the book focuses on developing this new account, there are also substantial discussions of alternative views, especially contract-based accounts of intergenerational justice and competing forms of consequentialism.
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