Sustainable intergenerational justice and its ends

Irene Gómez Franco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


Abstract: The primary concern of this work is to ask what we want to leave to future generations. The argumentation is grounded in two premises: firstly, that there is an intrinsic interdependence between justice and sustainable development; and secondly, that the capabilities approach proposed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum has made the crucial contribution of pointing out that for social justice, it is ‘ends’ that are fundamental and not just ‘means’. The idea behind this hypothesis is that people transform resources into valuable ways of ‘being’ and ‘doing’ differently, so the informational focus should be shifted onto ‘freedoms to’, or the real opportunities that people have. Thus, compared to theories that place the emphasis on income or needs in relation to development and sustainable justice, the capabilities approach presents a more promising framework for correcting intergenerational injustices. However, this theory must also deal with problems unique to prospective justice, in addition to the limitations of its own incompleteness. In this sense, it could be very helpful to complement it with an idea of intergenerational responsibility and a specification of the content of capabilities, for its implementation in the intergenerational context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy of Globalization
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783110492415
ISBN (Print)9783110544671
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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