Will MacAskill, What We Owe The Future, Basic Books, 2022, 333pp., $32.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781541618626.
Reviewed by Krister Bykvist, Stockholm University
Will MacAskill’s new book starts with a bang. He claims that a moral revolution is coming, if we take seriously three innocent-looking claims: ‘Future people count. There could be lots of them. We can make their lives better’ (9). These form the basis of longtermism, according to which ‘positively influencing the longterm future is a key priority of our time’ (4).
The book then lays out the case for longtermism in great detail and explores its supposedly far-reaching implications for how we should think and act, often by using captivating pedagogical analogies, metaphors, and illustrations. One particularly memorable analogy likens humanity to a youth with a long and prosperous future ahead, if only she makes the right decisions now. On the other…
Originally appeared on Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News Read More