Do We Have Duties to Future Generations?

  • Kimberly K. Smith
Part of the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series book series (AESS)


Environmenetal advocates typically argue that we have a duty to protect the environment for future generations. But moral philosophers have raised questions about whether we can have duties to future generations. This chapter discusses some of those questions, including the Nonidentity Problem. It also explores two important policy questions involving duties to future generations: setting the discount rate in climate policy and managing global population growth.


Future Generations Climate Policy Nonidentity Problem Spring Lake Parfit 
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Further Reading

  1. Golding, M.: Obligations to future generations. Monist. 56(1), 88–95 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Stern, N.: The economics of climate change. In: Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2010)Google Scholar
  3. Parfit, D.: Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1984)Google Scholar
  4. Vernon, R.: Justice Back and Forth. University of Toronto Press, Toronto (2016)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly K. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Carleton CollegeNorthfieldUSA

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