The Intuitive Appeal of Legal Protection for Future Generations

LPP Working Paper No. 1-2023

J. Barrett, D. Thorstad, & H. Greaves (Eds.), Essays on Longtermism, Oxford University Press (2023), Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2023 Last revised: 10 May 2024

See all articles by Eric Martínez

Eric Martínez

University of Chicago Law School; Institute for Law & AI

Christoph Winter

Harvard University; Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México; Institute for Law & AI

Date Written: February 1, 2023

Abstract

Over the last few years, there has been important foundational work formalizing the abstract principles of longtermism and (in the context of law) legal longtermism. An implicit assumption surrounding this work is that these abstract principles are not intuitive or widely endorsed. Here we present work from several recent empirical studies indicating that the abstract principles underlying legal longtermism—namely, that the law can and should protect the long-term future much more than it does currently—are in fact widely endorsed by legal experts and laypeople, independent of demographic factors such as gender, culture, and politics. These studies carry implications regarding the validity of legal longtermism as a jurisprudential theory and provide decision-relevant insights for applied longtermism.

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Martínez, Eric and Winter, Christoph, The Intuitive Appeal of Legal Protection for Future Generations (February 1, 2023). LPP Working Paper No. 1-2023, J. Barrett, D. Thorstad, & H. Greaves (Eds.), Essays on Longtermism, Oxford University Press (2023), Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4349899

Eric Martínez (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Institute for Law & AI ( email )

Christoph Winter

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.christophwinter.net/

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México ( email )

Río Hondo 1
Mexico City, D.F. 01000, Federal District 01080
Mexico

Institute for Law & AI ( email )

218 Harvard St
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

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