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Future PeopleA Moderate Consequentialist Account of our Obligations to Future Generations$
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Tim Mulgan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/019928220X.001.0001

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Optimism and Pessimism

Optimism and Pessimism

(p.197) 7 Optimism and Pessimism
Future People

Tim Mulgan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a basic list of intuitively plausible principles of intergenerational justice, against which Rule Consequentialism can be measured. It then establishes the Rule Consequentialist commitment to political liberty and shows how that commitment is strengthened in the intergenerational case. It is shown that Rule Consequentialism copes with the possibility of future declines in aggregate well-being much better than its opponents, such as Rawls’s liberalism. This is illustrated using the current dispute between growth optimists and ecological pessimists.

Keywords:   intergenerational justice, politics, optimism, pessimism, accumulation, environment, growth, non-renewable, Rule Consequentialism

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