Gheaus, Anca, and . The Right to Parent and Duties Concerning Future Generations

2016, Journal of Political Philosophy 24(1): Early Online.

Introduction: The argument, in a nutshell, is:

  • P1: Each child has a right, against all, to adequate life prospects.
  • P2: For each child who has the potential, as an adult, to be an adequate parent, adequate life prospects require enough resources to justly raise children.
  • C1: Thus, each child who has the potential to be an adequate parent has a right, against all, to enough resources to justly raise children.
  • P3: The right to enough resources to justly raise children includes the right to enough resources to provide one’s children with enough resources to justly raise children.
  • C2: Thus, each child who has the potential, as an adult, to be an adequate parent has a right, against all, to enough resources to provide their children with enough resources to justly raise children.

The argument continues ad infinitum because P3 is recurrent—it can be reiterated for any number of future generations.

  • C3: Thus, each child who has the potential, as an adult, to be an adequate parent has a right, against all, to enough resources to provide an indefinite number of successors with enough resources to justly raise children.

Comment: Novel approach to climate change and intergenerational justice. Article argues that we owe it to future generations to ensure that they have access to sufficient resources to realise their right to parent by providing an adequate life for their children. Would make interesting reading in a module on either environmental justice or on the family.