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The reading list below is based on a reading list originally used for an internal GPI reading group. These reading groups are used as a way of doing an early-stage exploration of new areas that seem promising from an academic global priorities research perspective.  Each topic is often used as the theme for one or two weekly discussions, and in most cases those attending the discussion will have read or skimmed the suggested materials beforehand. This list was expanded to include several readings that were identified as relevant by the group, though not all were internally discussed.

As I thought that it could be a valuable resource for those interested in academic global priorities research, I’m sharing it here, with permission from the authors. All the credit for the list below goes to them.

Disclaimer: The views presented in the readings suggested below do not necessarily represent views held by me, GPI, or any GPI staff member.


This list seeks to investigate several questions related to the representation of future generations, including:

(i) Can we represent future generations? 
(ii) Should we represent future generations?
(iii) How would representing future generations work in practice?

1. Can we represent future generations?

2. The boundary problem

3. Against Representing Future Generations

4. Does democracy conflict with a concern for future generations?

5. Longtermist Institutional Design and Policy


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[Apologies if the following is a bit off-topic since the post appears more concerned with "political" theory than "axiology", but:]

I think that a thorough and generous engagement with common sense "non-utilitarian" perspectives on population ethics such as the "intuition of neutrality [about making more people]" may benefit from some engagement with the metaphysics and logic of future contingents.  Below are a few references that may be of relevance. I don't think studying these will lead to any quick answers, but I think in the long run it may benefit the field.

Future Contingents SEP

Nuel Belnap  Branching Space-Times: Theory and Applications

- Nuel Belnap Facing the Future: Agents and Choices in Our Indeterminist World

- Andrea Borghini & Giuliano Torrengo "The Metaphysics of the Thin Red Line"

- Ted Sider, "Presentism and Ontological Commitment"