Investment Without Return: On Futures that Will Never Be Ours

  • Paul DaviesEmail author


This chapter reflects on what it means to have obligations to futures that necessarily will never be ours. It focuses on the non-empirical or transcendental operation of an ‘it is not too late’. It notes how the Kantian account of obligation seems unable to handle the significant urgency of climate change. It considers how Heidegger’s way of thinking about the catastrophic implications of technology succeeds in acknowledging such a significance. However, Heidegger seems to have to leave neither room nor time for a recognisable obligation. It argues that if there is a meaningfully distinct duty to a distant future then that future and its sense must be construed as ethical from the outset. It tries to meet the nihilist-realist’s challenge to this idea.


Climate change Ethics Future Heidegger Kant Phenomenology Philosophy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

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