Predominant theories of intergenerational ethics face a variety of structural problems arising from the different concepts of generation, temporality and justice on which they are built. This article develops a critical heuristic by referring to two alternative approaches. Starting from the tradition of social criticism, it emphasizes the fundamentally relational character of the social sphere with regard to its diachronic dimension and extended to future generations whose vulnerable status can be underlined with reference to the concept of precarity. In addition, it employs the narrative approach to elaborate on the embeddedness of normativity in its social and temporal dimension. Finally, by conceiving distant futures as horizons of normative expectations, it reintegrates temporality into a widely abstract moral reasoning.