A prominent topic in recent moral theory is what present people owe to future people – those who will (or might) exist in the future. Debate centres on a set of theoretical puzzles posed in Part Four of Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons. Can you wrong someone if your actions are also responsible for their existence? What is the ideal population size? Can we imagine a contract with distant future people? How should we balance the interests of present and future people? Does it matter whether there are any future people at all? What moral weight should we attach to risks of imminent human extinction?
Assessment: Coursework only
Not taught in 2022
Lecturer(s) Professor Timothy Mulgan
PHIL 727: 15 points