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A Perfect Moral StormThe Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change$
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Stephen M. Gardiner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379440

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379440.001.0001

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The Tyranny of the Contemporary

The Tyranny of the Contemporary

(p.143) Chapter 5 The Tyranny of the Contemporary
A Perfect Moral Storm

Stephen M. Gardiner

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the distant future poses a severe moral problem, the nature and extent of which has not yet been adequately appreciated. It also claims (1) that the problem is the main concern of distinctively intergenerational ethics, and (2) that it occurs both in a pure, long-term form manifest across human history and global populations, and also in degenerate forms which apply to shorter time periods and to social institutions. The problem is compared with the traditional prisoner's dilemma analysis, and climate change is offered as a leading example. Three major objections are also considered: the invisible hand, future uncertainty, and the philosophical non-identity problem made popular by Derek Parfit

Keywords:   generations, intergenerational justice, fairy tale, pure intergenerational problem, non-identity problem, invisible hand, game theory

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