Advertisement

Philosophia

pp 1–24 | Cite as

The Rights of Future Persons under Attack: Correlativity in the Non-Identity Problem

  • Andre Santos Campos
Article
  • 16 Downloads

Abstract

This paper aims at answering some of the objections to the NIP’s criticism of the idea of rights of future persons. Those objections usually adopt different perspectives depending on how they understand differently the nature of the correlativity between rights and duties – some adopt a present-rights-of-future-persons view, others a future-rights-of-future-persons view, others a transitive present-rights-of-present-persons view, and others still an eternalist view of rights and persons. The paper will try to show that only a non-transitive present-rights-of-present-persons view can survive the challenges posed by the notion of correlativity inherent in the NIP, and thus preserve rights language when discussing the future. This view is proved also more suitable for the legal and political realms, where policies and law-making are usually more concerned with present addressees and short term effects.

Keywords

Non-identity problem Rights Future persons Correlativity Overlapping generations Semi-future 

Notes

Funding

This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) under Grant no. IF/01587/2015.

References

  1. Adams, R. M. (1979). Existence, self-interest, and the problem of evil. Nous, 13, 53–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aristotle. (2002). Categories. On Interpretation. Prior Analytics. Loeb classical library no (p. 325). London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  3. Armstrong, D. (1989). A combinatorial theory of possibility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Augustine, S. (2003). City of god. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  5. Baier, A. (1981). The rights of past and future persons. In E. Partridge (Ed.), Responsibilities to future generations: Environmental ethics (pp. 171–183). New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  6. Beckerman, W. (2006). The impossibility of a theory of intergenerational justice. In J. C. Tremmel (Ed.), Handbook of intergenerational justice (pp. 53–71). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Beckerman, W., & Pasek, J. (2001). Justice, posterity, and the environment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Belnap, N., & Green, M. (1994). Indeterminism and the thin red line. Philosophical Perspectives, 8, 365–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benatar, D. (2006). Better never to have been: The harm of coming into existence. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beyleveld, D., Düwell, M., & Spahn, A. (2015). Why and how should we represent future generations in policymaking? Jurisprudence, 6, 549–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boonin, D. (2014). The non-identity problem & the ethics of future people. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brännmark, J. (2016). Future generations as Rightholders. CRISPP, 19, 680–698.Google Scholar
  13. Braudel, F. (1958). Histoire et sciences sociales. La longue durée. Annales Histoire, Sciences sociales, 13, 725–753.Google Scholar
  14. Brock, D. W. (1995). The non-identity problem and genetic harms: The case of wrongful handicaps. Bioethics, 9, 269–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Buchanan, A., Brock, D. W., Daniels, N., & Wikler, D. (2000). From chance to choice: Genetics and justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carnap, R. (1956). Meaning and necessity. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Carter, A. (2001). Can we harm future people? Environmental Values, 10, 429–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. De George, R. (1981). The environment, rights, and future generations. In E. Partridge (Ed.), Responsibilities to future generations: Environmental ethics (pp. 157–166). New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  19. Delattre, E. (1972). Rights, responsibilities and future persons. Ethics, 82, 254–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Earl, D. (2011). Ontology and the paradox of future generations. Public Reason, 3, 60–72.Google Scholar
  21. Ekeli, K. (2006). The principle of liberty and legal representation of posterity. Res Publica, 12, 385–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Elliot, R. (1989). The rights of future persons. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 6, 159–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fieser, J. (1992). The correlativity of duties and rights. International Journal of Applied Philosophy, 7, 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gewirth, A. (1978). Reason and morality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Gheaus, A. (2016). The right to parent and duties concerning future generations. The Journal of Political Philosophy, 24, 487–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gosseries, A. (2008). On future generations’ future rights. The Journal of Political Philosophy, 16, 446–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Griffith, A. M. (2017). The rights of future persons and the ontology of time. Journal of Social Philosophy, 48, 58–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hanser, M. (1990). Harming future people. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 19, 47–70.Google Scholar
  29. Hanser, M. (2011). Still more on the metaphysics of harm (pp. 459–469). LXXXII: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.Google Scholar
  30. Harman, E. (2004). Can we harm and benefit in creating? Philosophical Perspectives, 18, 89–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Harman, E. (2009). Harming as causing harm. In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wasserman (Eds.), Harming future persons: Ethics, genetics and the nonidentity problem (pp. 137–154). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Harris, J. W. (1997). Legal philosophies. London: Butterworths.Google Scholar
  33. Herstein, O. J. (2009). The identity and (legal) rights of future generations. The George Washington Law Review, 77, 1173–1215.Google Scholar
  34. Jouvenel, B. (1967). The art of conjecture. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  35. Kant, I. (1996). Practical philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Kavka, G. (1981). The paradox of future individuals. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 11, 93–112.Google Scholar
  37. Kramer, M. H. (2001). Getting rights right. In M. H. Kramer (Ed.), Rights, wrongs and responsibilities (pp. 28–95). Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kripke, S. (1980). Naming and necessity. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  39. Kumar, R. (2003). Who can be wronged? Philosophy and Public Affairs, 31, 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lewis, D. (1973). Counterfactuals. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  41. Lewis, D. (1986). On the plurality of worlds. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  42. Lyons, D. (1970). The correlativity of rights and duties. Nous, 4, 45–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. MacCormick, N. (1977). Rights in legislation. In P. M. S. Hacker & J. Raz (Eds.), Law, morality and society (pp. 199–204). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  44. Macklin, R. (1981). Can future generations correctly be said to have rights? In E. Partridge (Ed.), Responsibilities to future generations: Environmental ethics (pp. 151–156). New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  45. Mazor, J. (2010). Liberal justice, future people, and natural resource conservation. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 38, 380–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McMahan, J. (2001). Wrongful life: Paradoxes in the morality of causing people to exist. In J. Harris (Ed.), Bioethics (pp. 445–475). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Morriem, H. E. (1988). The concept of harm reconceived: A different look at wrongful life. Law and Philosophy, 7, 3–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Page, E. A. (2006). Climate change, justice and future generations. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Parfit, D. (1987). Reasons and persons. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  50. Parfit, D. (2011). On what matters (Vol. 2). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Parfit, D. (2017). Future people, the non-identity problem, and person-affecting principles. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 45, 118–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pletcher, G. K. (1981). The rights of future generations. In E. Partridge (Ed.), Responsibilities to future generations: Environmental ethics (pp. 167–170). New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  53. Quine, W. V. O. (1948). On what there is. The Review of Metaphysics, 2, 21–38.Google Scholar
  54. Reichenbach, B. (1992). On obligations to future generations. Public Affairs Quarterly, 6, 207–225.Google Scholar
  55. Rivera-Lopez, E. (2009). Individual procreative responsibility and the non-identity problem. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 90, 336–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Roberts, M. A. (1998). Child versus Childmaker: Future persons and present duties in ethics and the law. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  57. Routley, R., & Routley, V. (1977). Nuclear energy and obligations to the future. Inquiry, 21, 133–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sanklecha, P. (2017). Our obligations to future generations: The limits of intergenerational justice and the necessity of the ethics of metaphysics. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 47, 229–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schlossberger, E. (2008). A holistic approach to rights. Lanham: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  60. Schmitt, C. (1996). The concept of the political. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  61. Schuessler, R. (2016). Non-identity: Solving the waiver problem for future People’s rights. Law and Philosophy, 35, 87–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schwartz, T. (1978). Obligations to posterity. In R. I. Sikora & B. Barry (Eds.), Obligations to future generations (pp. 3–14). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Shiffrin, S. V. (1999). Wrongful life, procreative responsibility, and the significance of harm. Legal Theory, 5, 117–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Simmonds, N. E. (1986). Central Issues in Jurisprudence. London: Sweet & Maxwell.Google Scholar
  65. Smolkin, D. (1999). Toward a rights-based solution to the non-identity problem. Journal of Social Philosophy, 30, 194–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sterba, J. (1980). Abortion, distant peoples, and future generations. Journal of Philosophy, 77, 424–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Temkin, L. (2012). Intransitivity and the mere addition paradox. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 16, 138–187.Google Scholar
  68. Thomason, R. H. (1970). Indeterminist time and truth-value gaps. Theoria, 36, 264–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Todd, P. (2016). Future contingents are all false! On behalf of a Russellian open future. Mind, 125, 775–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Unruh, C. (2016). Present rights for future generations. Kriterion, 30, 77–92.Google Scholar
  71. Vanderheiden, S. (2006). Conservation, foresight, and the future generations problem. Inquiry, 49, 337–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wasserman, D. (2005). The nonidentity problem, disability, and the role morality of prospective parents. Ethics, 116, 132–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Weiss, E. B. (1990). Our rights and obligations to future generations for the environment. The American Journal of International Law, 84, 198–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Woodward, J. (1986). The non-identity problem. Ethics, 96, 804–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Woollard, F. (2012). Have we solved the non-identity problem? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 15, 677–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wrigley, A. (2012). Harm to future persons: Non-identity problems and counterpart solutions. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 15, 175–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences and HumanitiesNova University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations