The Canadian Journal of Philosophy announces a call for papers for a Special Issue edited by Rahul Kumar
Ethics and Future Generations
Traditionally, albeit with a few notable exceptions, moral and political philosophers have either neglected, or treated as a matter of peripheral concern, questions concerning our obligations to future generations. But that is rapidly changing. Faced with the now-vivid threat of catastrophic climate change, the public officials and social scientists involved in shaping climate-change policy increasingly look to philosophers for guidance. This has prompted philosophers both to take an active interest in how the tools of traditional moral and political theorizing can be employed and extended to help us better understand what we owe to future generations, and to develop new approaches for assessing what morality demands of us with respect to securing their interests.
The purpose of this volume is to bring together fourteen original papers that address a range of issues concerning ethics and future generations. We particularly welcome submissions rooted in theoretical or applied ethics and political philosophy. Theoretical questions of interest include: to what extent might the tools of ethical theory and political philosophy help us to formulate our obligations to future generations? Are our current tools equal to this task, or do we need to approach the ethical implications of our current choices for future generations in wholly new ways? Problem-based questions include: Do our obligations to future people extend beyond refraining from creating foreseeably miserable lives to include a positive duty to create lives of a high rather than just decent-quality? Are there moral reasons to try and ensure a certain population size in the further future? How should we weigh the interests of those who will live in the next few generations against those of distant generations in both moral theorizing and policy-making?