This seminar is hosted by the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations
Speaker: Dr Matthew Rendall, Lecturer, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham
Summary: Whether future people and other sentient beings can be said to have rights has long been a matter of controversy, as has whether they would 'waive' such rights if this were a condition of their coming into existence. I will argue that consequentialists can make a coherent case for assigning rights to future people. No logical or metaphysical barrier stands in the way of rights protecting their interests, so long as their purpose is to establish correlative duties for agents today. Nor does granting such rights require us to depart from the usual understanding of harm. Whether or not consequentialists should assign rights to the future-or merely duties to the present is a decision to be made on largely pragmatic grounds.
Venue: Manor Road Building, Seminar Room B, Oxford