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Program on Ethics Annual Ethics Lecture
WhenMonday, Oct 8, 2018, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Campus locationIntellectual House (INT)
Campus roomGathering Hall
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsProgram on Ethics
Department of Philosophy
University of Washington

Gathering Hall, UW Intellectual House
Reception at 5:30 p.m.
Lecture: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

"Why Worry about Future Generations?"

Samuel Scheffler
Professor of Philosophy
New York University

The things we do today may make life worse for future generations. But why should we care what happens to people who won’t be born until after all of us are gone? Why should we care whether there are any people who are born after all of us are gone? If we find these questions difficult to answer, that is because we lack a highly developed set of ideas about the value of human continuity. Yet we are more invested in the fate of our descendants than we may realize, and we have more reasons to care about what happens to them than we commonly acknowledge. Implicit in our existing values and attachments are a variety of powerful reasons for wanting the chain of human generations to persist into the indefinite future under conditions conducive to human flourishing.

Samuel Scheffler is University Professor in the Department of Philosophy at New York University. He works primarily in the areas of moral and political philosophy and the theory of value. His writings have addressed central questions in ethical theory, and he has also written on topics as diverse as equality, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, toleration, terrorism, immigration, tradition, and the moral significance of personal relationships. He is the author of six books: The Rejection of Consequentialism, Human Morality, Boundaries and Allegiances, Equality and Tradition, Death and the Afterlife (Niko Kolodny ed.), and, most recently, Why Worry about Future Generations? He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.…
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