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Fairness and FuturityEssays on Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice$
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Andrew Dobson

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294894

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294891.001.0001

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An Extension of the Rawlsian Savings Principle to Liberal Theories of Justice in General

An Extension of the Rawlsian Savings Principle to Liberal Theories of Justice in General

Chapter:
(p.173) 7 An Extension of the Rawlsian Savings Principle to Liberal Theories of Justice in General
Source:
Fairness and Futurity
Author(s):

M. L. J. Wissenburg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198294891.003.0008

Marcel Wissenburg makes a close analysis of John Rawls's ‘savings principle’ as articulated in Political Liberalism, and argues that, properly understood, it is a necessary condition for the survival of liberal democracy. If so, then liberalism and sustainability are more compatible than is often claimed. Much depends on what savings the present generation is obliged to make, and Wissenburg generates a ‘restraint principle’ that enjoins any given generation not to destroy goods unless unavoidable, to replace with identical ones if not, to replace with equivalent ones if identical ones are not available, and to offer compensation as a last resort. Much depends on what ‘unless unavoidable’ means, and this will be a normative as well as a technical issue.

Keywords:   compensation, generations, goods, liberalism, norms, John Rawls, restraint, savings principle, sustainability

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