Concern for future generations and meaning in life*

Nyenrode University has published a book addressing the issue of whether and to what extent present generations have an obligation to preserve the natural environment and nature's capital for future generations, focusing mainly on the responsibilities of trade and industry. A chapter contributed by CE examines a non-moral reason for concern for future generations: the importance of the prospect of a healthy future for human well-being. Human beings need and derive satisfaction from future-oriented activities, embedding them in affairs transcending their own individual lives: family life, scientific enterprise and business management, for example. Concerns about these needs may therefore provide strong motivation for caring about future generations.

Delft, December 2002