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Intergenerational Justice$
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Axel Gosseries and Lukas H. Meyer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282951.001.0001

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Three Models of Intergenerational Reciprocity

Three Models of Intergenerational Reciprocity

(p.119) 4 Three Models of Intergenerational Reciprocity
Intergenerational Justice

Axel Gosseries (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the specificities, strengths, and weaknesses of the idea of reciprocity as a basis for intergenerational obligations. Three models are presented: descending, ascending, and double reciprocity. Each of these three models is tested against three objections. The first objection asks why having received something from someone would necessarily entail the obligation to give back. The second objection questions the ability of each model to justify the direction of reciprocation. A final objection looks at the extent to which reciprocity-based views adjust the content of our obligation to the fluctuations in population size.

Keywords:   generations, indirect reciprocity, Barry, demo-sensitivity, free-riding

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