Our Duty to the Past and Our Past Selves

Video Recording:

This event took place on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

Event Description:

It is taken for granted that we should often act in the best interest of our future selves, and even on behalf of future generations, but when should we act for the sake of past people, and even our own past interests? In a range of cases we find ourselves bound by our past decisions, or by the past decisions of people who have come before us. When is it okay to break from those bounds, and when are we required to abide by the decisions of the past, even when they conflict with our interests now? Our distinguished panelists will discuss cases of advanced medical directives, duties to vindicate the sacrifices of past generations, and duties to history.

Panelists include:

  • Rebecca Dresser, Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law Emerita, Washington University, St. Louis
  • Tania Gergel, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, King’s College, London
  • S.J. Beard, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge
  • Saul Smilanksy, Professor, University of Haifa, Israel

Hosted by Barry Lam, Associate Director of MSF and host of Hi-Phi Nation podcast.

Contact Us

The Marc Sanders Foundation would be happy to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us (e-mail is preferred) about any questions you might have.


Barry Lam

Copyright 2019 Marc Sanders Foundation