Special Issue: ‘Longtermism: Philosophical Questions’
Guest Editor: Stefan Riedener (University of Zurich)
Longtermism is the view that positively influencing the long-term future is a – or perhaps the – key moral priority of our time (see e.g. MacAskill, What We Owe the Future). The standard argument for this view is simple: the long-term future might concern the fate of enormously many beings; these beings matter morally (at least roughly) as much as we or our contemporaries do; and we can affect their existence and quality of life. The upshot seems to be that positively shaping the next hundreds of thousands of years is more important than just about anything else. When we ponder how to structure our economy, how to respond to climate change, pursue international politics and so on, we should ask primarily how our decisions will impact the very long-term trajectory of the universe.
This is a radical idea, and it deserves much more academic discussion than it has so far received. Moral Philosophy and Politics invites contributions that engage with philosophical questions surrounding longtermism. Is the standard argument sound? What are the primary philosophical objections against it? Are there alternative argumentative routes – perhaps grounded in key deontological or virtue-ethical ideas – that lead to a similar conclusion? What would longtermism imply for our self-understanding today? What import does it have for specific moral issues, such as animal ethics, the ethics of AI or global inequality? These are only some of the questions that contributors may address.
Papers should be submitted by October 31, 2023 and should be between 3.000 and 10.000 words in length.
All submissions will undergo MOPP’s double-blind refereeing process. Please note that this process is not organized by the guest editor but by the journal’s founding editors who will also have the final word on publication decisions.
The journal’s manuscript submission site can be accessed at