Affiliated Researcher

Elizabeth Finneron-Burns

Elizabeth Finneron-Burns

Postdoctoral researcher, Philosophy

I am a post doc working with Krister Bykvist and Gustaf Arrhenius on the Valuing Future Lives project. I submitted my DPhil thesis at Oxford University in September 2015. Before studying at Oxford I worked as a policy advisor with the Government of Ontario in education and employment policy. My DPhil focused on intergenerational ethics, and specifically whether the contractualist philosophy of T.M. Scanlon can provide a helpful framework to discover what (if any) obligations we have to future people.

Contractualism is a moral theory that claims that acts are wrong when they cannot be justified to others on grounds that they could not reasonably reject. I apply this theory to considerations concerning future people by asking what future people could reasonably reject us doing and also what justifications we can offer to future people.

At the Institute I will expand on this research and the possibility of a deontological solution to various puzzles in population ethics.