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On Global Justice$
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Mathias Risse

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142692

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142692.001.0001

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“But the Earth Abideth For Ever”

“But the Earth Abideth For Ever”

Obligations to Future Generations

(p.167) Chapter 9 “But the Earth Abideth For Ever”
On Global Justice

Mathias Risse

Princeton University Press

This chapter proposes a framework that makes it possible to consider future generations explicitly and presents two future-directed obligations of justice. It argues for a principle of intergenerational equality: each generation can be reasonably expected to leave a nondeclining stock of natural capital behind. It introduces an additional principle of justice relating to the distribution of the original resources and spaces of the earth across different generations of human beings. The chapter first examines Rahul Kumar's view that wronging consists of violations of legitimate expectations in relationships before discussing ways of characterizing our relationship with future generations that have nothing to do with the ownership approach. It then looks at the debate about sustainability and concludes with some reflections on what we can say about duties to future generations that share membership in a state.

Keywords:   future generations, obligations, justice, intergenerational equality, natural capital, Rahul Kumar, wronging, legitimate expectations, sustainability

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