10th Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy – Abstract/Finneron-Burns

Elizabeth Finneron-Burns

Scanlonian Contractualism and the Non-identity Problem

The non-identity problem challenges theories of intergenerational justice by claiming that if the identity of a future person is contingent on a certain act and the person has a life worth living, that act cannot harm the future person even if it is also responsible for other negative consequences for that person’s life. This paper argues that Scanlonian contractualism provides the best and most complete solution to the non-identity problem. By focusing on what future people could reasonably reject and what reasons current people could use to justify their actions, contractualism avoids the non-identity problem.