Distributive justice relies on metaphors about spatial distribution. Modelling cross-temporal relations on cross-spatial relations in this way obscures how earlier groups become the later ones. Procedural justice metaphors rely on metaphors of (contemporaneous) contract and thereby on impartial reasoning. Their dominance is already problematic in the case of contemporary relations, but is even more so in the case of relations across time, where the conditions for later parties are controlled and created by earlier ones. Future generations should not be thought of as a distinct group living at a different temporal “location,” but as who we will become. Thus, the frame of “justice” is much less appropriate for our relations to them than the frame of “care”.
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