Sustainable development and future generations

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper argues, mainly on the basis of Rawls's savings principle, Wissenburg's restraint principle, Passmore's chains of love, and De-Shalit's transgenerational communities, for a double interpretation of sustainable development as a principle of intergenerational justice and a future-oriented green ideal. This double interpretation (1) embraces the restraint principle and the argument that no individual can claim an unconditional right to destroy environmental goods as a baseline that could justify directive strategies for government intervention in non-sustainable lifestyles, and (2) suggests that people's concerns about the deterioration of nature and the environment articulate future-oriented narratives of self-identity that could fuel non-directive strategies to develop further responsibilities towards nearby future generations. Sustainable development, thus, provides sound arguments to restrict people's freedom to follow their own lifestyles, when these lifestyles transgressed the baseline of the restraint principle. However, the individual freedom of choice should not be restricted for any further environmental considerations. Non-directive strategies are thus to stimulate the development of such further responsibilities towards nearby future generations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-22
    JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • ethics

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