Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Virtue of Previous Generations

In a recent post Neil Buchanan raises the following puzzle:

"We always talk about fiscal policy as being good if it makes future generations better off and bad if it leaves them worse off. . . . [nevertheless] we have very good reason to believe that future generations of Americans (and some others) will enjoy much higher material living standards than we do. Advocating policies that require us to sacrifice today for the benefit of 'our children and grandchildren,' therefore, actually means (on average) advocating a transfer from the relatively poor to the relatively rich."

Assuming this projection of the economic well-being of future generations is correct, how can we explain the strong lingering intuition that we should still try and improve the lot of future generations, even at some expense to us? Here is an initial attempt at a partial explanation.

Buchanan's puzzle is framed in terms of distributive justice (with an egalitarian component), pointing out that adopting a fiscal policy that benefits us at the expense of future generations is just, since even under such circumstances future generations will be much better off than we.

However, distributive justice is not the only framework for explaining moral duties. There are, for example, relationships and roles that generate duties that are supererogatory in terms of distributive justice; duties that do not arise outside such relationships and roles. Such roles and relationships usually involve either a relationship of great dependency or of strong ties. The virtuous mentor, parent, teacher, doctor, superpower, privileged class, employer, grandparent, friend, spouse etc. is the one that at least attempts to benefit those dependent or close to him/her. This often remains the case, even when the beneficiary will most likely do better, down the road, than the benefactor. For example, a teacher who does not help a student to fulfill his or her full potential because that student is destined to surpass the teacher is a less than virtuous teacher. Parents who do not strive to improve the future of their children, because they know that their children are destined to have a better life than they themselves have, are not virtuous parents. Similarly, future generations are often depended on us and may also be "close" to us – for example, the present American generation may have duties towards future generations of Americans; duties that they do not have towards future generations of other nations. Perhaps one partial answer to Buchanan's puzzle is found in this notion of relationship-based virtue.

Posted by Ori Herstein

8 comments:

Michael C. Dorf said...

I think Ori captures a great deal about why we care about near-future generations. A good test of whether he's captured the whole of the matter might be this thought experiment:
1) Suppose our welfare is X;
2) Suppose that without any special efforts on behalf of the future, our children's generation will have a welfare of 2X, and our grandchildren will enjoy a welfare of 4X, and so on, for 20 generations, when a now-predicted cataclysm will drastically reduce welfare back to 2X. Let's say we can predict that in 20 generations (500 years) a comet will hit the Earth, but that without taking any special measures now, we can expect our distant descendants to develop mechanisms to mitigate the damage and bring welfare back to the state of our children.
3) But suppose also that by investing now in space colonization efforts or comet diversion technology, we can ensure that in 20 generations our descendants will be out of the path of the comet. To do so, however, requires us to reduce our own welfare to X-delta. And let's also suppose that delaying getting started on these efforts greatly increases the chances that the technology won't be ready when the comet gets here.
4) Would we feel obliged to make the investment to make our descendants 20 generations hence much better off than us, even if doing nothing leaves them at twice our own level of wellbeing?
Note that your lineal genetic descendant after 20 generations (assuming descent by only one line) has less than 1 millionth (1/(2^20))of your DNA and as much in common with you culturally as you have with your ancestors living in around the year 1500.

Caleb said...

I think the thing about "comet diversion technology" is that it pretty much sells itself. There are so many applications.

kutyhgvd said...

It is the knight noah which makes me very happy these days, my brother says knight gold is his favorite games gold he likes, he usually knight online gold to start his game and most of the time he will win the knight online noah back and give me some cheap knight gold to play the game.

. said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,舞廳,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,理容院,日領,龍亨,學生兼差,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工

peter.w said...

塑料托盘,塑料栈板 四川塑料托盘,塑料栈板 成都塑料托盘,塑料栈板 自贡塑料托盘,塑料栈板 攀枝花塑料托盘,塑料栈板 泸州塑料托盘,塑料栈板 德阳塑料托盘,塑料栈板 绵阳塑料托盘,塑料栈板 广元塑料托盘,塑料栈板 遂宁塑料托盘,塑料栈板 内江塑料托盘,塑料栈板 乐山塑料托盘,塑料栈板 南充塑料托盘,塑料栈板 宜宾塑料托盘,塑料栈板 广安塑料托盘,塑料栈板 达州塑料托盘,塑料栈板 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 轻型仓储货架|轻量型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 中量型仓储货架|中量A型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 中量型仓储货架|中量B型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 横梁式仓库货架|重型仓储货架|货位式库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 模具货架|抽屉式仓库货架|仓储货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 贯通式仓储货架|通廊式仓库货架|驶入式库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 悬臂式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 阁楼式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架|钢平台 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 流利式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架|辊轮式货架|自滑式货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 工作台|工作桌 工具柜|工具车 托盘|塑料托盘|钢托盘|铁托盘|钢制托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼 周转箱|塑料周转箱 静音手推车|铁板手推车|购物手推车|登高车 手动液压托盘搬运车|不锈钢搬运车|电子秤搬运车 高起升搬运车|电动搬运车|平台车 手动液压堆高车|手动液压堆垛车|半电动堆垛车 全电动堆垛车|油桶搬运车|圆桶搬运车|油桶装卸车| 柴油内燃平衡重式叉车|电动平衡重式叉车 液压升降机|剪叉式高空作业平台|固定式蹬车桥 文件柜 不锈钢制品 零件盒|零件柜 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 钢托盘 钢制料箱 堆垛架 物流台车 手推车 钢托盘 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|金属托盘|镀锌托盘 堆垛架|巧固架 钢制料箱 物流台车|载物台车 手推车|静音手推车 手推车|静音手推车 仓储笼|钢托盘|钢制料箱|堆垛架|物流台车|手推车 仓储笼|钢托盘 仓储笼 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架 塑料托盘|栈板 钢托盘|钢制托盘 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 托盘|钢托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 周转箱|塑料周转箱 托盘|纸托盘 料箱|钢制料箱 工具柜|工具车|抽屉柜 工作台|工作桌 刀具柜|刀具车|刀具架 手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|手动叉车 仓储笼 仓库笼 南京仓储笼 常州仓储笼 无锡仓储笼 苏州仓储笼 徐州仓储笼 南通仓储笼 镇江仓储笼 连云港仓储笼 泰州仓储笼 扬州仓储笼 盐城仓储笼 淮安仓储笼 宿迁仓储笼 轻量型货架|角钢货架 中量A型货架 中量B型货架 货位式货架 横梁式货架 阁楼式货架|钢平台 悬臂式货架 贯通式货架|通廊式货架|驶入式货架 辊轮式货架|流利条货架 压入式货架 移动式货架|密集架 模具货架 抽屉式货架 汽车4S店货架 汽配库货架 自动化立体仓库货架 托盘|钢托盘|钢制托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 手推车|铁板手推车 手推车|静音手推车 置物架|工业置物架|家用置物架 堆垛架|巧固架 挂板架|物料整理架 登高车 物流台车|载物台车 料箱|钢制料箱 搬运车|手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 堆高机|堆垛机|手动堆高机|电动堆高机 叉车|电动叉车|内燃叉车|叉车厂 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|横梁式货架|中型货架 钢托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架> 仓储货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|中型货架|横梁式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 托盘|塑料托盘|栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢制周转箱|网格式料箱 搬运车|手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 塑料托盘|塑料栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢质周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|液压搬运车 仓储货架|>仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|中型货架|横梁式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 塑料托盘|塑料栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢质周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|托盘搬运车 货架|仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|上海货架|北京货架 轻型货架|中型货架|搁板式货架 重型货架|横梁式货架|托盘式货架 托盘|木托盘|纸托盘|木塑托盘 托盘|钢托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 手推车|静音手推车|铁板手推车 物料架|整理架|挂板架 料箱|钢制料箱|钢制周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|半电动堆高车|手动叉车 塑料周转箱|物流箱|塑料化工桶|塑料卡板箱 工具柜|上海工具柜|南京工具柜|抽屉柜 工作台|工作桌|南京工作台|上海工作台 刀具车|刀具柜|刀具架|刀具座 货架 货架厂 货架公司 仓储货架 仓库货架 库房货架 南京货架 上海货架 托盘 钢托盘 钢制托盘 货架|轻量型货架|角钢货架 货架|中量型货架|次重型货架 货位式货架|横梁式货架|重量型货架 仓储货架|阁楼式货架|钢平台 仓储货架|悬臂式货架 仓储货架|贯通式货架|通廊式货架|驶入式货架 仓库货架|库房货架|抽屉式货架|模具货架 仓库货架|库房货架|汽车4S店货架|汽配库货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架|上海货架|无锡货架|苏州货架 货架厂|货架公司|北京货架|天津货架|沈阳货架|大连货架 货架厂|货架公司|广州货架|深圳货架|杭州货架 托盘|钢托盘|钢制托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 置物架|多功能置物架|卫浴置物架 料箱|钢制料箱|钢制周转箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|不锈钢托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|半电动堆高车|电动堆高车|堆垛车 货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 货架 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 货架 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 托盘 塑料托盘 钢托盘 钢制托盘 铁托盘 货架厂 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 南京货架 货架公司 货架厂 仓库货架 仓储货架 货架 货架

wsty said...

www.eshooes.com .
www.pumafr.com.
www.myshoess.com.
[url=http://www.pumafr.com]puma shoes[/url]
[url=http://www.eshooes.com]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=http://www.myshoess.com]nike air max ltd[/url]

酒店經紀ㄚ君姐姐 said...

,,領檯姐.,便服店,,

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,