Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name







Johnson, R.




Over the last fifty years or so, the concern for the condition of the natural environment has come within the foreground of world thought. Environmental problems, such as overpopulation, and resource depletion, have prompted philosophers, environmental activists, and policy-makers to consider the needs of future generations. Several thinkers have tried to establish a basis for considering the needs of future generations and for having a responsibility to provide for those needs. The notion of having a responsibility towards future generations has now become a moral issue. This thesis considers the idea of granting a moral status to future persons. I review the philosophical literature and environmental legislation on future generations and try to determine whether it makes sense to say that future persons deserve moral status. The objective of this thesis is to develop a case for the moral status of future persons based on the relationship between present and future needs for survival, an idea that is evident in both moral philosophy and environmental legislation. I want to stress that the present generation has a choice to represent the needs of future persons and that such a choice can be prudentially grounded.Dept. of Philosophy. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2000 .F33. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0364. Adviser: Ralph Johnson. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2000.