Risk-Benefit Analysis: From a Logical Point of View [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (2):161-170 (2012)
In this paper I am concerned with risk–benefit analysis; that is, the comparison of the risks of a situation to its related benefits. We all face such situations in our daily lives and they are very common in medicine too, where risk–benefit analysis has become an important tool for rational decision-making. This paper explores risk–benefit analysis from a logical point of view. In particular, it seeks a better understanding of the common view that decisions should be made by weighing risks against benefits and that an option should be chosen if its benefits outweigh its risks. I devote a good deal of this paper scrutinizing this popular view. Specifically, I demonstrate that this mode of reasoning is logically faulty if “risk” and “benefit” are taken in their absolute sense. But I also show that arguing in favour of an action because its benefits outweigh its risks can be valid if we refer to incremental risks and benefits.
|Keywords||Risk–benefit analysis Absolute risks/benefits Incremental risks/benefits Medical decision-making Practical reasoning|
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References found in this work BETA
Elizabeth Anderson (1993). Value in Ethics and Economics. Harvard University Press.
World Medical Association (2009). Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. Jahrbuch für Wissenschaft Und Ethik 14 (1):233-238.
Sven Ove Hansson (2007). Philosophical Problems in Cost–Benefit Analysis. Economics and Philosophy 23 (2):163-183.
Stephen Read (1994). Formal and Material Consequence. Journal of Philosophical Logic 23 (3):247 - 265.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael A. Ashby & Leigh E. Rich (2012). Signposts in a Familiar Land? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (2):119-124.
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