Dec 2021

CFP: Transgenerationality, community and justice

December 31, 2021

The Monist

Guest editors: Tiziana Andina (University of Turin), Fausto Corvino (University of Turin)

Publication date:  2023

Deadline for submissions: 31 December 2021

The research on intergenerational justice has followed in the last decades three main directives: neo-contractualist models that aim to demonstrate that there can be mutual advantage in indirect cooperation or to find moral patches based on intra-familiar love; studies on the implications that utilitarianism, prioritarianism and sufficientarianism have with respect to future generations (e.g., the social discount rate, the repugnant conclusion, the hermit’s paradox, and so forth); analysis of how it is possible to conceive intergenerational harm in the face of the non-identity problem. There is, however, a third possible line of research, which, despite having received much less attention over the years, presents much less theoretical complications than the approaches set out above, and this is transgenerational communitarianism. Avner De Shalit outlined, more than twenty years ago, the concept of transgenerational community, that is, a community that despite the lack of face-to-face interactions between all its members (due to obvious temporal asymmetries) manages to ensure moral similarity between them through free and rational processes of collective reflection.

Although this idea is able to give normative foundation to intergenerational obligations without incurring the theoretical complications that meet the most known and discussed theories that are based on a strict methodological individualism, such as complications related to the identity of future people and population ethics, it has not been developed in the literature as due. At the same time, however, a consistent metaphysical research has gone ahead on the concepts of transgenerationality and of transgenerational actions, i.e., actions that can be realized only with the contribution of subjects other than those who initiated them – which is, in essence, the theoretical assumption of any transgenerational community.

Accordingly, the purpose of this special issue is to investigate the relationship between transgenerationality, on the one hand, and a community-based normative foundation of justice towards future generations, on the other. In particular, we are interested in addressing three theoretical issues:

– What are the metaphysical underpinnings of the concept of transgenerationality and under which circumstances one or more transgenerational actions can create duties of justice, positive or negative, towards future generations?

– What is a transgenerational community and what kind of obligations does it create among its members belonging to different generational cohorts? And what is the temporal extension of these obligations?

– What are the drawbacks of a communitarian approach to intergenerational justice? For example, can it give the right theoretical value to intergenerational problems, such as climate change, which have a clear cosmopolitan scope?

Invited authors

  • Avner de Shalit, “Does the Transgenerational Community Principle Contradict Prioritarianism?”
  • Luigi Bonatti and Lorenza Alexandra Lorenzetti, “Transgenerational Communitarianism In A Global Interconnected World: A Critique”
  • Janna Thompson, “Intergenerational Societies and Political Obligation”
  • Tiziana Andina and Fausto Corvino, “Transgenerational social structures and fictitious actors: a community-based theory of responsibility for future generations”
  • Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, “Generationality: Reflections On Inter-generationality, Trans-generationality, and the “Generation War”
  • May Sim, “Confucianism and Transgenerational Grounds for Justice”
  • Ferdinando G. Menga, “Thinking a Radically Future-Oriented Subjectivity. Remarks on the Contribution a Phenomenology of Alterity Can Play in Tackling with Intergenerational Responsibility”
  • Matthew Dean, “Group Immortality”
  • 1 article to be selected through call for papers

Submission Information:

All submissions should be prepared for anonymous review and sent to:
tiziana.andina@unito.it and fausto.corvino@unito.it

Word limit: 8000 words, including notes and references.