Naturalness and de minimis risk

Environmental Ethics 27 (2):191-200 (2005)
Abstract
In risk management, de minimis risk is the idea that risks that are sufficiently small, in terms of probabilities, ought to be disregarded. In the context of the distinction between disregarding a risk and accepting it, this paper examines one suggested way of determining how small risks ought to be disregarded, specifically, the natural-occurrence view of de minimis, which has been proposed by Alvin M. Weinberg, among others. It is based on the idea that “natural” background levels of risk should be used as benchmarks and de minimis levels should be derived from those levels. This approach fails even if the doubtful distinction between what is natural and what is not can be upheld
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