Do the Current Poor Owe Anything to Future Persons? the Transgenerational Community Principle and Prioritarianism

Avner De-Shalit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The transgenerational community is based on moral similarity between contemporary and future people, referring to an ongoing moral deliberation across generations. It justifies obligations of justice towards the not yet born. Prioritarianism gives extra weight to the wellbeing of the least advantaged. I argue that both sentiments are egalitarian, and ask whether there is any tension between them. If we assume economic growth, and/or technological improvements and/or inflation, then prioritarianism prima facie implies that we should prefer to spend any dollar on today's disadvantaged than on future generations, hence is in tension with the demands of the transgenerational community. Analyzing four ways of meeting this challenge, I argue that the two principles are not in tension.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
JournalThe Monist
Volume106
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s),. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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