The Future - For Better or Worse
Alan Carter correctly argues that Thomas Schwartz's 'future persons paradox' applies with equal force to utilitarianism, rights theory and Aristotelian ethics. His criticism of Rawls's 'justice between generations' is less successful, because of his failure (and perhaps Rawls's as well) to fully appreciate the hypothetical nature of the 'original position'. Carter's attempt to refute Schwartz's argument by focusing on the individuality of moral action fails, since it evades the essential point of Schwartz's argument. The best response to Schwartz is to concede the essential validity of his argument and then to turn that argument into an ad absurdum refutation of his central premise,'the person affecting principle'.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2002-02-01
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