Intergenerational Ethics

Richard Barke

I’m working on policy process questions related to intergenerational issues. This effort is requiring me to draw on a large range of disciplines: economics, cognitive science, constitutional history, politics and institutional behavior, and, of course, ethics. A fundamental question on this topic is the basis in ethical theory for claiming that we have obligations to future generations, or that we can redistribute resources from current individuals to those who do not exist yet, when there is usually great uncertainty about their needs (but not, I claim, their values, which are not likely to be radically different from ours).