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Call for Papers


Workshop: What we Owe the Future: Needs, Capabilities, and Intergenerational Justice


Organizer: University of Graz, Institute of Philosophy, FWF Project Intergenerational Climate Justice and Basic Needs

Dates: Wednesday 22 – Friday 24 June 2022 (13:00-19:00 Central European Time) 

Venue: Online

Overview: We’re living in an age of impending planetary crisis. Within discussions about the Anthropocene and humanity’s impacts on our global support systems, questions of what we owe to future persons and how we can assure a livable existence for future generations have reached increasing importance. This poses a range of pressing normative questions. In recent years philosophers working on distributive justice and increasingly also on climate justice have shown interest in the plausibility of both capabilities and basic needs in addressing these questions

This is a work-in progress workshop for which we encourage authors to share ongoing projects relating to some of the below questions. The focus is on providing sufficient time and space for exchange, feedback and discussions while keeping presentations to 20-25 minutes. Speakers will be asked to pre-circulate (draft) papers before the workshop.

There is the possibility for selected papers to be published in a special issue journal Basic Needs: Normative Perspectives (XIII, n. 1, 2022) edited by Lukas Meyer and Alessandro Pinzani. 


The organizers encourage submissions of papers on following questions:

  • What is the normative significance of basic needs and/or capabilities and how do these currencies compare to each other and to other currencies of justice?
  • How can needs-based normative theories guarantee the agency and autonomy of currently living and future persons?
  • How can conceptions of basic needs and capabilities be applicable to both currently living and future persons?
  • Do theories of intragenerational and intergenerational justice require different currencies of justice?
  • How can sufficientarian accounts of basic needs or capabilities deal with questions of risk and uncertainty?
  • What are actual basic needs of present and future recipients of justice, and what are satisfiers of these needs?
  • What are the capabilities of present and future recipients of justice and how can those capabilities be described or measured?
  • How can we conceptualize the social and societal basis of basic needs/functionings/capabilities?
  • Under what circumstances, if any, is it appropriate to discount the basic needs or capabilities of future persons, and to what extent?
  • How do conceptions of intergenerational justice based on needs and capabilities deal with conflicting claims and issues of scarcity?
  • What does social science and economic data imply about basic needs and their satisfaction and/or capabilities?
  • How can normative considerations about the needs of future persons be integrated into models and policy-making tools?


Call for abstracts:

We invite scholars wishing to present a paper at the workshop to submit an abstract by 

May 9, 2022, to the following email address: daniel.petz(at)uni-graz.at. Abstracts should not exceed 500 words and should be in English. Acceptance notifications will be sent out by May 15, 2022. We plan to pre-circulate papers, so final conference papers should be submitted by June 15, 2022.

Questions concerning any issues related to the workshop can also be addressed to


Project Lead

Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil.

Lukas Meyer

Attemsgasse 25/II

Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 2300

Project Administration


Kanita Kovačević

Attemsgasse 25/II

Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 2299

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