Environmental Ethics
and Public Policy
Ernest Partridge, Ph.D
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Conscience of a Progressive
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Rawls and the Duty to Posterity
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Classical Guitar:
"The Other Profession
"

 

 

 

Rawls and the Duty to Posterity

Ernest Partridge

Doctoral Dissertation
University of Utah, 1976

(PDF Format -- Adobe Acrobat Required)

 

TITLE PAGE, TABLE OF CONTENTS,  ABSTRACT & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I.     INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM

1.    The Problem of Posterity.
2     The Posterity Problem in Contemporary Philosophical Thought 
3     Some Dimensions of the Problem of Posterity. 
4     John Rawls's Theory of Justice: A Preliminary Glance. 
5     The Plan of the Dissertation. 


II.     OBLIGATIONS, DUTIES, RIGHTS.

6     Obligations and Duties. 
7     A Taxonomy of Rights 
8     Correlativity: Do Rights Entail Duties? 
9     Duties Which Entail Rights 
10   Duties Without Correlative Rights 
11   Correlativity and the Question of Posterity's Rights 


III.     THE DUTY TO POSTERITY: SOME CONCEPTUAL QUESTIONS

12     Posterity: A Unique Case
13     Duties to the Non-Existent? 
14     Duties to the Indefinite Unborn. 
15     Can Posterity's "Rights" Be Claimed? 
16     "The Right to Exist" 
17     The Time Factor 
18     Correlativity Again 
19     The Posterity Problem: A Summary 

Addendum I:      Further Thoughts on "The Rights of Future Generations" 
Addendum II:     The Riddle of the Non-Beethoven A Postscript.


IV     RAWLS'S THEORY OF JUSTICE: A SUMMARY

20     "Justice as Fairness": A Preliminary Assessment 
21     Contract Theory. 
22     "Reflective Equilibrium" 
23     The Original Position. 
24     The Principles of Justice . 
25     Just Institutions 
26     "Goodness as Rationality" 
27     Rival Theories: Perfectionism and Utilitarianism.
28.    Justice As Fairness: A Meta-ethical Postscript.


V     ON DUTIES, RIGHTS, AND "JUSTICE BETWEEN GENERATIONS"

29.     Rawls on Obligations, Duties and Rights. 
30.     Posterity and the Deontological Approach. 
31.     Posterity and the Original Position.
32.     "Just Savings"
33.     "Time Preference" 
34.     Posterity and the "Full Theory of the Good" 


VI     "JUSTICE BETWEEN GENERATIONS" AND THE ORIGINAL POSITION.

35     "Justice Between Generations": Conceptual Parameters.
36     Justice to Possible Persons .
37     The First and Last Generations.
38     Non-Reciprocity and "The Present Time of Entry Interpretation" 
39     "The Heads of Families" Condition. 
40     The Span of Responsibility. 

Addendum: The Problem of "Pure Time Preference" 


VII     FROM "JUST SAVINGS" TO "JUST PROVISION". 

41     Beyond "Just Savings" 
42     Just Savings and the Ecological Perspective.
43     "Self Transcendence": A Proposal. 
44     Is Self-Transcendence a Primary Good? 
45     Rawls and Self-Transcendence. 
46     Just Provision as an Abstract Principle of Justice. 
47     Just Provision as a Practical Principle of Justice.
48     Summing Up: The "Guiding Questions" Revisited.


POSTSCRIPT: IN RETROSPECT, 2001
 

REFERENCES 


APPENDIX I:     "Should We Seek a Better Future?" (Ethics and the Environment, 3:1)

APPENDIX II:    "On Civic Friendship"   (2000) (Unpublished).

JOHN RAWLS -- A TRIBUTE:   
(Published in Free Inquiry, March, 2004)


Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org).  Dr. Partridge can be contacted at: gadfly@igc.org .