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Simon Lectures (2) - Reasons to Worry: Valuation and Reciprocity

Simon Lectures (2) - Reasons to Worry: Valuation and Reciprocity
170 St. George Street, JHB Room 100
Time: Oct 26th, 3:00 pm End: Oct 26th, 5:00 pm
Interest Categories: Philosophy (UTSC), Philosophy (UTM), Philosophy (FAS), 2000-
Lecture by Samuel Scheffler, NYU

The Department of Philosophy presents

The Jerome Simon Lectures:

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.


Lecture II: “Reasons to Worry: Valuation and Reciprocity”

Continuing the discussion from Lecture I, I discuss reasons of the second two kinds for caring about the fate of future generations: reasons of valuation and reasons of reciprocity.  These reasons, along with the reasons of love and reasons of interest discussed in Lecture I, are all attachment-based reasons, in a sense I explain.  I contrast the attachment-based perspective on future generations with the emphasis on axiology and beneficence that is prevalent in the philosophical literature on population ethics.

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.

(Colloquia organized by Julia Nefsky and David Barnett.)

For more information, please contact the Department of Philosophy at 416-978-3311.

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