Reader’s Corner: ‘What We Owe the Future’

Philosopher William MacAskill’s new book, What We Owe the Future, tries to do what few books do well: Take a big, hairy subject and make it understandable for a broad audience. He succeeds somewhat, but the issue is ultimately with the subject itself.

My review is at PopMatters:

Many ideas with great potential to cause damage have at their core at least one fundamentally sound principle. In philosopher William MacAskill’s new book What We Owe the Future—a white paper for the general public about the philosophy known as longtermism—he defines the school of thought under the heading “The Silent Billions”: “Future people count. There could be a lot of them. We can make their lives go better.” It’s a mind-opening concept and difficult to push back on…

You can read the introduction here.