The first full volume of philosophical contributions to the complex question of whether there are obligations of survival
Obligations to Future Generations
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edited by R. I. Sikora and Brian Barry
This collection of essays brings together papers by a group of distinguished scholars, including Peter Singer, Amartya Sen, Jan Narveson, Mary Warren, L.W. Summer, and the editors themselves. It is the first full volume of philosophical contributions to the extraordinarily complex question of whether there are obligations to future generations, the problem of survival, reduction in the quality of life, and related issues.
The book is divided into two parts. The first raises questions about the intrinsic value that may be attached to the continuation of human life. Topics include the risk of catastrophic war, dangerous pollution levels, as well as contraception, sterilization, abortion, and the like. The second part examines alleged obligations to future generations with attention to their remoteness, size, mere possibility of existing, and our present information about such populations and the planet. Problems of pollution, resource depletion, and similar issues are considered.
R. I. Sikora is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia.
Brian Barry, who has taught widely in the United States, is a Fellow of Nuffield college, Oxford University; he is best known for The Liberal Theory of Justice, a full-length study of John Rawls' A Theory of Justice.