|作者：Peter Laslett and James S. Fishkin (ed)|
|出版者：Yale University Press|
|I S B N：0300050739|
Review author: Gregory S. Kavka
Ethics, Vol.104, No.1. (Oct., 1993), pp.184-186
This book is the sixth volume in the well-known philosophy, Politics, and Society series. Like its predecessors, it contains generally high-quality essays written by distinguished philosophers, economists, lawyers, political scientists, and historians,; but unlike them, it is focused on a single general topic: justice between groups of people living over different time intervals. Despite the common topic, the essays are remarkably diverse in subject matte. Looking at issues involving past generations, Peter Laslett discusses whether the notion of a contract or trust between generations makes sense, George Sher explores reasons why claims for compensation for injustices weaken as new generations emerge, and David Braybrooke argues that the idea of a past social contract cannot be used (as some libertarian writers have supposed) to legitimize unrestricted private property rights. Focusing on the future, Richard Epstein contends that social action to promote economic savings for later generations will be futile, while Derek Parfit and Tyler Cowen argue for a zero rate of intergenerational discount, and Cowen shows how this discount rate follows from consequentialism, given certain plausible assumptions. Jonathan Glover discusses moral issues arising from possible future genetic screening practices for disability, and Larry Temkin shows how concern for equality adds to the familiar consequentialist puzzles about justice between generations. James Fishkin and David Thomson look at relations among presently existing generations. The former argues that the liberty to produce, and confer benefits on, children creates special problems regarding justice for liberal theory, while the latter claims that the modern welfare state is a device of insurance for the middle classes, not for redistribution, and that its expansion has worked to the great advantage of the current mature generation and the detriment of succeeding generations.