Research Seminar - Taking Future Generations Seriously: Rejecting the Non-identity Argument without Solving the Non-identity Problem

Rob Lawlor will be presenting for approximately half an hour, which will be followed by an informal discussion. All are welcome and there is no need to book.

Many suggest that the non-identity problem challenges our normal intuitions about our responsibilities to future generations. Stephen Gardiner states that some consider the non-identity problem to be “the most important intergenerational problem” and Elizabeth Cripps expresses her concerns by saying that the non-identity problem “could give us a mandate to do anything, no matter how awful”.

After making a distinction between the non-identity problem and the non-identity argument, I will argue that solving the non-identity problem should not be our immediate priority. The more urgent task is to reject the non-identity argument, and I will argue that we can do this even if we cannot solve the non-identity problem.