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The long-term nature of many environmental problems has forced moral philosophy to pay closer attention to relations between generations. Many effects of present-day greenhouse gas emissions, for example, materialize only after decades or centuries. Intergenerational ethics differs from ethics among contemporaries due to a number of specific features of intergenerational relations, such as the asymmetrical and particular kind of influence the present generation has over future generations. Many issues in intergenerational ethics are debated under the heading of sustainability. Sustainability, however, is a richer concept that is more closely tied to the context of ecological constraints and includes broader concerns such as justice among contemporaries.

Some doubt whether intergenerational relations can be evaluated in moral terms at all. This fundamental doubt pertains particularly to actions that ...

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