We thank Professor Scheffler for his fascinating lectures "Why Worry about Future Generations?".
In this series of three public lectures, Professor Scheffler considers:
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.
SAMUEL SCHEFFLER is University Professor and Professor of Philosophy and Law at NYU. He received his AB from Harvard and his PhD from Princeton. He taught at Berkeley from 1977 to 2008. He works primarily in the areas of moral and political philosophy and the theory of value. His books and articles have addressed central questions in ethical theory, and he has also written on topics as diverse as equality, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, tolerance, terrorism, immigration, tradition, and the moral significance of personal relationships. His publications include five books: The Rejection of Consequentialism, Human Morality, Boundaries and Allegiances, Equality and Tradition, and Death and the Afterlife, all published by Oxford University Press. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has held Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships. He has been a visiting fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and he serves as an advisory editor of Philosophy & Public Affairs.