What We Owe The Future: The Sunday Times Bestseller (Hardback)
  • What We Owe The Future: The Sunday Times Bestseller (Hardback)
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What We Owe The Future: The Sunday Times Bestseller (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 352 Pages
Published: 01/09/2022
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Waterstones Says

In this optimistic, grounded and highly readable book, one of the giants of contemporary philosophy delivers a visionary, persuasive argument for longtermism – and the idea that the key moral priority of our time is to try and positively influence the distant future.

The fate of the world is in our hands. Humanity's written history spans only five thousand years. Our yet-unwritten future could last for millions more - or it could end tomorrow. Astonishing numbers of people could lead lives of great happiness or unimaginable suffering, or never live at all, depending on what we choose to do today.

In What We Owe The Future, philosopher William MacAskill argues for longtermism, the idea that positively influencing the distant future is a key moral priority of our time. From this perspective, it's not enough to reverse climate change or avert the next pandemic. We must ensure that civilization would rebound if it collapsed; counter the end of moral progress; and prepare for a planet where the smartest beings are digital, not human.

If we put humanity's course to right, our grandchildren's grandchildren will thrive, knowing we did everything we could to give them a world full of justice, hope and beauty.

Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9780861542505
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'I was captivated by MacAskill’s rolling out of the possibilities of a longtermist approach to the now. It is vital to do as he does, to take ethics out of the safety of lecture-hall thought experiments, paradoxes and what-ifs and into the turbulent real world, where the dynamic winds of history blow and where is massing on the horizon that monstrous, swelling tsunami that we call the future. This is a book of great daring, clarity, insight and imagination. To be simultaneously so realistic and so optimistic, and always so damn readable… well that is a miracle for which he should be greatly applauded.' —Stephen Fry

'MacAskill is probably one of the most influential thinkers in the world.' —The Times, Best Books of 2022

‘A brilliant book that makes clear both how much is at stake when it comes to the long term, and the incredible opportunities we have to shape it. It has changed how I think about my time on earth.’ —Max Roser

‘This book is a monumental event. William MacAskill is one of the most important philosophers alive today, and this is his magnum opus.’ —Rutger Bregman, author of Humankind

'No living philosopher has had a greater impact upon my ethics than Will MacAskill. And much of the good I now do is the direct result of his influence. In What We Owe The Future, MacAskill has transformed my thinking once again, by patiently dismantling the lazy intuitions that rendered me morally blind to the interests of future generations. This is an altogether thrilling and necessary book.' —Sam Harris

'MacAskill’s case for “longtermism” – “the idea that positively influencing the longterm future is a key moral priority of our time” – is overwhelmingly persuasive. But it’s also unapologetically optimistic and bracingly realistic: this is by some distance the most inspiring book on “ethical living” I’ve ever read… a powerful argument in favour of freedom of speech and viewpoint diversity… The overall promise of this thrilling book is of a life both less burdened by ethical guilt – by beating yourself up over every choice of groceries or transportation – and much more effective at actually helping humanity.' —Guardian

'An optimistic look at the future that moved me to tears.' —Joseph Gordon-Levitt

'A profoundly optimistic exploration of the opportunities our descendants might enjoy, and the steps we might take to help them… there are plenty of insights and surprises along the way… MacAskill has thrust an important and neglected argument into the spotlight, while making it vivid and fun to read. He hopes that this book will change the world, and it might.' —Financial Times

'Remarkable… MacAskill’s command of factual detail is admirable. So are his lightness of prose and facility in explaining tricky arguments… Is our world better off for containing William MacAskill?... I say yes… MacAskill is a worthy heir to Derek Parfit’s philosophical legacy, adding deep factual research and accessible writing to a provocative line of thought.' —TLS

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