Uehiro Lectures Book Series

About the Series

The annual public Uehiro Lecture Series captures the ethos of the Uehiro Centre, which is to bring the best scholarship in analytic philosophy to bear on the most significant problems of our time, and to make progress in the analysis and resolution of these issues to the highest academic standard, in a manner that is also accessible to the general public. Philosophy should not only create knowledge, it should make people’s lives better.

In keeping with this, the Annual Uehiro Lectures are published as a book series by Oxford University Press and we are pleased to announce the recent publication of the latest in the series by 2020 Lecturer, Professor Michael Otsuka. How to Pool Risks Across Generations: The Case for Collective Pensions was published by OUP in June 2023.

Links to audio and video recordings can be found below.

Latest Publication

How to Pool Risks Across Generations: The Case for Collective Pensions

Professor Michael Otsuka, 2020 Uehiro Lecturer

Published: 27 June 2023, Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198885962

How to Pool Risks across Generations makes the case for the collective provision of pensions, on fair terms of social cooperation. Through the insurance of a mutual association which extends across society and over multiple generations, we share one another's fates by pooling risks across both space and time. Resources are transferred, not simply between different people, but also within the possible future lives of each person: from one's more fortunate to one's less fortunate future selves. The book opens with an investigation of the longevity and investment risk that even a single individual on a desert island would face in providing for her old age. From this atomistic starting point, it builds up, within and across the chapters, to increasingly collective forms of pension provision. By joining together, it is possible to tame the risks we would face as individuals each with our own private pension pot. A collective pension can be justified as a 'social union of social unions': an enduring corporate body, which is formed by agreements to pool risks, in a manner that involves reciprocity between the various individuals that constitute the collective. Even though all individuals age and die, a collective pension scheme remains evergreen, as the average age of members remains relatively unchanged, through the influx of new members to replace those who retire. It is therefore possible to smooth risks indefinitely across as well as within generations, to the mutual advantage of each.

Link to the Uehiro Series in Practical Ethics on the OUP website: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/category/academic/series/philosophy/uspe.do

Audio and Video Recordings


Videos of some of the Uehiro Centre's Annual Lectures, including Allen Buchanan (2009), Janet Radcliffe Richards (2012), Tim Scanlon (2013), Michael Otsuka (2020) and Peter Railton (2022) are available on our YouTube channel (full playlist below).



Audio recordings of the Lectures from 2011 onwards are freely available to download from Oxford Podcasts.