IPCC has said that beside the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the so-called discount rate in welfare economy is most important when discussing future effects of climate change. Emissions of hazardous greenhouse gases today harm people who do not yet exist, and we must develop sustainable both political and economic strategies that reduce damage in the future. But when climate change threatens human welfare across the globe, in both near and distant future, we also need a concept of well-being that reflects such a large scope. This article discusses which concept of well-being that best yields moral obligations across generations. The concept of well-being argued for in the article will thus also have something specific to say about climate economy and sustainable development.
From two not very controversial premises I argue for a variant of transcendental idealism: (1) Space is a non-conceptual system of particular distances and directions. (2) As a possible object of propositional truth, distance or size is relational. But (2) means the collapse of (1): In relationally equivalent worlds, one cannot distinguish between particular and conceptual size. What is needed for particular distance being an objective property of things is a global measure of such worlds. This is supplied by rational, indexical agency.
The author presents and discusses the arguments in favour of the inductive method put forward by Francis Bacon in his Aphorisms Concerning The Interpretation Of Nature And The Kingdom Of Man from 1620. He posits these against the hypothetical-deductive method and the falsification principle famously presented by Karl Popper (1934/1959). He finds Popper’s critique of Bacon superficial, and argues that Popper himself was an inductivist in disguise. He also finds an astonishingly clear continuity from Bacon to leading historians in the 20th century, among them the Norwegian historian Jens Arup Seip. Finally, he further exemplifies the fruitfulness of the inductive method and advocates an approach he calls inductively driven research questions.