May 21, 2009
Foundation Life Spans: a Vexing Issue
For hundreds of years, the degree of power that perpetual philanthropic endowments give to donors has been a topic of divisive debates.
The philosopher John Stuart Mill deplored the irrationality that made "a dead man's intentions for a single day, a rule for subsequent centuries." Mill predicted that "there is no fact in history which posterity will find it more difficult to understand, than that the idea of perpetuity, and that of any of the contrivances of man, should have been
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