Why worry about future generations?

“Why should we care about what happens to human beings in the future, after we ourselves are long gone?¬† Much of the contemporary philosophical literature on future generations implicitly suggests that our primary reasons for concern are reasons of beneficence.¬† In these lectures, I propose a different answer.¬† Implicit in our existing values and attachments are a variety of powerful reasons, which are independent of considerations of beneficence, for wanting the chain of human generations to persist into the indefinite future under conditions conducive to human flourishing.”
– Professor Samuel Scheffler

2015 Uehiro Lectures with Professor Samuel Scheffler

Lecture 1: Title: Temporal Parochialism and Its Discontents

Lecture 2: Reasons to Worry

Lecture 3: Conservatism, Temporal Bias, and Future Generations

SAMUEL SCHEFFLER (B.A., Harvard; Ph.D., Princeton) works mainly in the areas of moral and political philosophy. His publications include five books: The Rejection of Consequentialism (1982, rev. ed. 1994), Human Morality (1992), Boundaries and Allegiances (2001), Equality and Tradition (2010), and Death and the Afterlife (Ed. Niko Kolodny, 2013), all published by Oxford University Press. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been a recipient of Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships. He serves as an Advisory Editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs, and has been a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.