A distinction is sometimes drawn between longtermism simpliciter and strong versions of that view. While allowing that other forms of influence may also be important, strong longtermism holds that positively influencing the long-term future has dominant moral importance. This view has been defended by Hilary Greaves and William MacAskill, and has precedents in the work of Nick Bostrom, Nick Beckstead, and others.
MacAskill, William, Hilary Greaves & Elliott Thornley (2021) The moral case for long-term thinking, in Natalie Cargill & Tyler John (eds.) The Long View: Essays on Policy, Philanthropy, and the Long-Term Future, London: First, pp. 19–28.
Moorhouse, Fin (2021) Introduction to longtermism, Effective Altruism, January 27.
Todd, Benjamin (2013) How important are future generations?, 80,000 Hours, August 19.
Whittlestone, Jess (2017) The long-term future, Effective Altruism, November 16.
Longtermism. Online introduction and resource compilation on longtermism by Fin Moorhouse.
ethics of existential risk | existential risk | existential security | global health and wellbeing | institutions for future generations | long-range forecasting | macrostrategy | non-humans and the long-term future | patient altruism | trajectory change
Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 46.
MacAskill, William (forthcoming) What We Owe the Future, New York: Basic Books.
MacAskill, William (2019) “Longtermism”, Effective Altruism Forum, July 25.
Greaves, Hilary & William MacAskill (2021) The case for strong longtermism, working paper.
Bostrom, Nick (2003) Astronomical waste: The opportunity cost of delayed technological development, Utilitas, vol. 15, pp. 308–314.
Bostrom, Nick (2013) Existential risk prevention as global priority, Global Policy, vol. 4, pp. 15–31.
Beckstead, Nick (2013) On the Overwhelming Importance of Shaping the Far Future, doctoral thesis, Rutgers University.
Beckstead, Nick (2019) A brief argument for the overwhelming importance of shaping the far future, in Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.) Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 80–98.