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Theory of Generational Justice PDF Print E-mail

Theory of Generational Justice
In the past decades, systematic concepts and theories on justice between non-overlapping generations have been developed for the first time ever—2600 years after the first theories on justice between contemporaries had been articulated. This delay can be explained by the different impact of mankind’s scope of action, then and now.
In the last few years the number of scientific magazines and articles referring to justice between generations and to the ethics of the future (in the broadest sense) has soared. The concept of ‘intergenerational justice’ may very well become an intellectual leitmotif of the new century. Not only does it deal with the future, it is also set to influence the future direction of philosophy and politics.
FRGF discusses definitions and concepts of intergenerational justice. Scarcely any scientist denies that scientific terms must be well-defined and precise. The possibility to criticize theories in a constructive way becomes more difficult, if theories contain terms which are imprecise and ambiguous. FRFG therefore aims to achieve a clear understanding and definition of key terms such as ‘justice’, ‘future generations’, ‘intergenerational equity’ and ‘intergenerational justice’. How do we distinguish ‘intergenerational justice’ from ‘social justice’ or ‘gender justice’? Do we see a generation of people as something static? What do we mean when we talk about overlapping generations? Can we really draw a dividing line between different generations? Is ‘sustainability’ synonymous to ‘generational justice’?
FRFG has done a lot to clarify the term „intergenerational justice“ and to compare it with the concept of sustainability. An important resource is the Handbook of Intergenerational Justice . The first part clarifies basic terms and explores the origins of the idea of intergenerational justice.

Part I - Foundations and Definitions of Generational Justice
1. Responsibility for future generations-scope an limits Dieter Birnbacher
2. Principles of generational justice Christoph Lumer
3. The impossibility of a theory of intergenerational justice Wilfried Beckerman
4. John Rawls on the rights of future generations Claus Dierksmeier
5. Justice between generations: the limits of procedural justice Michael Wallack
6. Rule change and intergenerational justice Axel Gosseries and Mathias Hungerbühler
7. The Economic Sustainability Indicator Peer Eder, Philipp Schuller and Stephan Willms
8. Protecting future generations: intergenerational buck-passing, theoretical ineptitude
    and a brief for a global core precautionary principle Stephen M. Gardiner
9. Institutional determinants of public debt: a political economy perspective
    Bernd Süssmuth and Robert K. von Weizsäcker  

We also held a scientific symposium on the question: What is Generational Justice?  

We also give critics, like Prof. Beckerman who believe that no theory of intergenerational justice is possible, a forum: Intergenerational Justice Review No. 2
And discuss objections against intergenerational justice like the non-identity problem:
First french Issue of the Intergenerational Jusitce Review
German Issue: Sustainability or Intergenerational Justice (1/2003)
Bilingual German-Spanish Issue: ,Sustainable Development`in Spain (1/2007)

To understand the relationship between IGJ and sustainability, we compiled a collection of all definitions of sustainability:

Encyclopaedia of Sustainability
The FRFG has realized a substantial encyclopaedia of sustainability in the World Wide Web. It gives you an overview of many definitions of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” by various economists, social scientists, natural scientists, philosophers and other scientists. The several dimensions of the item are clearly arranged and valuable Information is bundled in a spreadsheet. Read more (in german)…