What We Owe the Future

By William MacAskill,

Book cover of What We Owe the Future

Book description

Instant New York Times Bestseller

“This book will change your sense of how grand the sweep of human history could be, where you fit into it, and how much you could do to change it for the better. It's as simple, and as ambitious, as that.”
—Ezra Klein

An Oxford…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked What We Owe the Future as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

MacAskill asks us to think about what we can do today to improve the chances of a good life for sentient beings (humans, animals, and whatever else there might be) in the untold aeons to come.

I found this long-termist perspective truly breathtaking, while also feeling securely grounded in the wealth of empirical research and the careful step-by-step development of arguments he presents.

By no means uncontroversial, this tour-de-force offers actual practical guidelines. In doing so, it builds on previous works on "effective altruism" (by MacAskill himself and by Peter Singer), works that changed my life, not least by…

Future generations might be very much impacted by the actions we take today: with climate change, nuclear war, or the changes in global values. But we often don’t take their interests into account. 

In this book, Will argues that positively influencing the fate of future generations is a key moral priority of our time and that there are things we can do today to make them better off. This may be one of the most important books of our time.

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