The thesis that the practice and evaluation of science requires social value-judgment, that good science is not value-free or value-neutral but value-laden, has been gaining acceptance among philosophers of science. The main proponents of the value-ladenness of science rely on either arguments from the underdetermination of theory by evidence or arguments from inductiverisk. Both arguments share the premise that we should only consider values once the evidence runs out, or where it leaves uncertainty; they adopt a criterion (...) of lexical priority of evidence over values. The motivation behind lexical priority is to avoid reaching conclusions on the basis of wishful thinking rather than good evidence. The problem of wishful thinking is indeed real---it would be an egregious error to adopt beliefs about the world because they comport with how one would prefer the world to be. I will argue, however, that giving lexical priority to evidential considerations over values is a mistake, and unnecessary for adequately avoiding the problem of wishful thinking. Values have a deeper role to play in science than proponents of the underdetermination and inductiverisk arguments have suggested. (shrink)
How should UNOS deal with the presence of scientific controversies on the risk factors for organ rejection when designing its allocation policies? The answer I defend in this paper is that the more undesirable the consequences of making a mistake in accepting a scientific hypothesis, the higher the degree of confirmation required for its acceptance. I argue that the application of this principle should lead to the rejection of the hypothesis that ‘less than perfect’ Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) matches (...) are an important determinant of kidney graft survival. The scientific community has been divided all along on the significance of partial antigen matches. Yet reliance on partial matches has emerged as one of the primary factors leading blacks to spend a much longer time than whites on the waiting list for kidneys, thereby potentially impacting the justice of the kidney allocation policy. My case study illustrates one of the legitimate roles non-epistemic values can play in science and calls into question the ideal of a value-free science. (shrink)
Although epistemic values have become widely accepted as part of scientific reasoning, non-epistemic values have been largely relegated to the "external" parts of science (the selection of hypotheses, restrictions on methodologies, and the use of scientific technologies). I argue that because of inductiverisk, or the risk of error, non-epistemic values are required in science wherever non-epistemic consequences of error should be considered. I use examples from dioxin studies to illustrate how non-epistemic consequences of error can and (...) should be considered in the internal stages of science: choice of methodology, characterization of data, and interpretation of results. (shrink)
Critics of the ideal of value‐free science often assume that they must reject the distinction between epistemic and nonepistemic values. I argue that this assumption is mistaken and that the distinction can be used to clarify and defend the argument from inductiverisk, which challenges the value‐free ideal. I develop the idea that the characteristic feature of epistemic values is that they promote, either intrinsically or extrinsically, the attainment of truths. This proposal is shown to answer common objections (...) to the distinction and provide a principled basis for separating legitimate from illegitimate influences of nonepistemic values in scientific inference. *Received June 2009; revised September 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: 503 S. Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824‐1032; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Our actions, individually and collectively, inevitably affect others, ourselves, and our institutions. They shape the people we become and the kind of world we inhabit. Sometimes those consequences are positive, a giant leap for moral humankind. Other times they are morally regressive. This propensity of current actions to shape the future is morally important. But slippery slope arguments are a poor way to capture it. That is not to say we can never develop cogent slippery slope arguments. Nonetheless, given their (...) most common usage, it would be prudent to avoid them in moral and political debate. They are often fallacious and have often been used for ill. They are normally used to defend the moral status quo. Even when they are cogent, we can always find an alternate way to capture their insights. Finally, by accepting that the moral roads on which we travel are slippery, we become better able to successfully navigate them. (shrink)
Abstract -/- Most discussions of risk are developed in broadly consequentialist terms, focusing on the outcomes of risks as such. This paper will provide an alternative account of risk from a virtue ethical perspective, shifting the focus to the decision to take the risk. Making ethical decisions about risk is, we will argue, not fundamentally about the actual chain of events that the decision sets in process, but about the reasonableness of the decision to take the (...)risk in the first place. A virtue ethical account of risk is needed because the notion of the ‘reasonableness’ of the decision to take the risk is affected by the complexity of the moral status of particular instances of risk-taking and the risk-taker’s responsiveness to these contextual features. The very idea of ‘reasonable risk’ welcomes judgments about the nature of the risk itself, raises questions about complicity, culpability and responsibility, while at its heart, involves a judgement about the justification of risk which unavoidably focuses our attention on the character of the individuals involved in risk making decisions. -/- Keywords: Risk; ethics; morality; responsibility; virtue; choice; reasons . (shrink)
A capability approach has been proposed to risk analysis, where risk is conceptualized as the probability that capabilities are reduced. Capabilities refer to the genuine opportunities of individuals to achieve valuable doings and beings, such as being adequately nourished. Such doings and beings are called functionings. A current debate in risk analysis and other fields where a capability approach has been developed concerns whether capabilities or actual achieved functionings should be used. This paper argues that in (...) class='Hi'>risk analysis the consequences of hazardous scenarios should be conceptualized in terms of capabilities, not achieved functionings. Furthermore, the paper proposes a method for assessing capabilities, which considers the levels of achieved functionings of other individuals with similar boundary conditions. The capability of an individual can then be captured statistically based on the variability of the achieved functionings over the considered population. (shrink)
This paper argues that chance (risk or opportunity) discovery is challenging, from a reasoning point of view, because it represents a dilemma for inductive reasoning. Chance discovery shares many features with the grue paradox. Consequently, Bayesian approaches represent a potential solution. The Bayesian solution evaluates alternative models generated using a temporal logic planner to manage the chance. Surprise indices are used in monitoring the conformity of the real world and the assessed probabilities. Game theoretic approaches are proposed to (...) deal with multi-agent interaction in chance management. (shrink)
Powerful, technically complex international compliance regimes have developed recently in certain professions that deal with risk: banking (the Basel II regime), accountancy (IFRS) and the actuarial profession. The need to deal with major risks has acted as a strong driver of international co-operation to create enforceable international semilegal systems, as happened earlier in such ﬁelds as international health regulations. This regulation in technical ﬁelds contrasts with the failure of an international general-purpose political and legal regime to develop. We survey (...) the new global regulatory systems in the actuarial, banking and accounting ﬁelds, with a view to showing how the need to deal reasonably with risk has resulted in an international de facto law solidly based on correct abstract principles of probability. (shrink)
Gambles which induce the decision-maker to experience ambiguity about the relative likelihood of events often give rise to ambiguity-seeking and ambiguity-avoidance, which imply violation of additivity and Savage's axioms. The inability of the subjective Bayesian theory to account for these empirical regularities has determined a dichotomy between normative and descriptive views of subjective probability. This paper proposes a framework within which the two perspectives can be reconciled. First, a formal definition of ambiguity is given over a continuum ranging from ignorance (...) to risk, and including ambiguous contexts as subsets. Second, it is shown that the systems of inductive logic account for the effects of ambiguity. Then, Carnap's X-system is applied as a psychological model and compared to Einhorn and Hogarth's non-normative psychological model. Finally, the implications of this research to the modeling of subjective probability judgements are discussed. (shrink)
An argument, different from the Newman objection, against the view that the cognitive content of a theory is exhausted by its Ramsey sentence is reviewed. The crux of the argument is that Ramsification may ruin inductive systematization between theory and observation. The argument also has some implications concerning the issue of underdetermination.
In this paper I show that David Armstrong is wrong to claim that the regularity theorist must be an inductive sceptic by demonstrating that even those who support worldly ontologies devoid of metaphysical glue (or as Hume might say, necessary connections ‘in the objects’) can justifiably make many inductive inferences. As well as branding the regularity theorist an inductive sceptic, Armstrong also claims that regularity theory (RT) laws have no explanatory value whatsoever. I try to show that (...) Armstrong is also wrong in this respect, and that as a matter of fact, observed regularities are best explained by laws of this kind, or at least something like them. (shrink)
Contrary to formal theories of induction, I argue that there are no universal inductive inference schemas. The inductive inferences of science are grounded in matters of fact that hold only in particular domains, so that all inductive inference is local. Some are so localized as to defy familiar characterization. Since inductive inference schemas are underwritten by facts, we can assess and control the inductiverisk taken in an induction by investigating the warrant for its (...) underwriting facts. In learning more facts, we extend our inductive reach by supplying more localized inductive inference schemes. Since a material theory no longer separates the factual and schematic parts of an induction, it proves not to be vulnerable to Hume's problem of the justification of induction. (shrink)
It could be argued that tort law is failing, and arguably an example of this failure is the recent public liability and insurance (‘PL&I’) crisis. A number of solutions have been proposed, but ultimately the chosen solution should address whatever we take to be the cause of this failure. On one account, the PL&I crisis is a result of an unwarranted expansion of the scope of tort law. Proponents of this position sometimes argue that the duty of care owed by (...) defendants to plaintiffs has expanded beyond reasonable levels, such that parties who were not really responsible for another’s misfortune are successfully sued, while those who really were to blame get away without taking any responsibility. However people should take responsibility for their actions, and the only likely consequence of allowing them to shirk it is that they and others will be less likely to exercise due care in the future, since the deterrents of liability and of no compensation for accidentally self-imposed losses will not be there. Others also argue that this expansion is not warranted because it is inappropriately fueled by ‘deep pocket’ considerations rather than by considerations of fault. They argue that the presence of liability insurance sways the judiciary to award damages against defendants since they know that insurers, and not the defendant personally, will pay for it in the end anyway. But although it may seem that no real person has to bear these burdens when they are imposed onto insurers, in reality all of society bears them collectively when insurers are forced to hike their premiums to cover these increasing damages payments. In any case, it seems unfair to force insurers to cover these costs simply because they can afford to do so. If such an expansion is indeed the cause of the PL&I crisis, then a contraction of the scope of tort liability, and a pious return to the fault principle, might remedy the situation. However it could also be argued that inadequate deterrence is the cause of this crisis. On this account the problem would lie not with the tort system’s continued unwarranted expansion, but in the fact that defendants really have been too careless. If prospective injurers were appropriately deterred from engaging in unnecessarily risky activities, then fewer accidents would ever occur in the first place, and this would reduce the need for litigation at its very source. If we take this to be the cause of tort law’s failure then our solution should aim to improve deterrence. Glen Robinson has argued that improved deterrence could be achieved if plaintiffs were allowed to sue defendants for wrongful exposure to ongoing risks of future harm, even in the absence of currently materialized losses. He argues that at least in toxic injury type cases the tortious creation of risk [should be seen as] an appropriate basis of liability, with damages being assessed according to the value of the risk, as an alternative to forcing risk victims to abide the outcome of the event and seek damages only if and when harm materializes. In a sense, Robinson wishes to treat newly-acquired wrongful risks as de-facto wrongful losses, and these are what would be compensated in liability for risk creation (‘LFRC’) cases. Robinson argues that if the extent of damages were fixed to the extent of risk exposure, all detected unreasonable risk creators would be forced to bear the costs of their activities, rather than only those who could be found responsible for another’s injuries ‘on the balance of probabilities’. The incidence of accidents should decrease as a result of improved deterrence, reduce the ‘suing fest’, and so resolve the PL&I crisis. So whilst the first solution involves contracting the scope of tort liability, Robinson’s solution involves an expansion of its scope. However Robinson acknowledges that LFRC seems prima facie incompatible with current tort principles which in the least require the presence of plaintiff losses, defendant fault, and causation to be established before making defendants liable for plaintiffs’ compensation. Since losses would be absent in LFRC cases by definition, the first evidentiary requirement would always be frustrated, and in its absence proof of defendant fault and causation would also seem scant. If such an expansion of tort liability were not supported by current tort principles then it would be no better than proposals to switch accident law across to no-fault, since both solutions would require comprehensive legal reform. However Robinson argues that the above three evidentiary requirements could be met in LFRC cases to the same extent that they are met in other currently accepted cases, and hence that his solution would therefore be preferable to no-fault solutions as it would only require incremental but not comprehensive legal reform. Although I believe that actual losses should be present before allowing plaintiffs to seek compensation, I will not present a positive argument for this conclusion. My aim in this paper is not to debate the relative merits of Robinson’s solution as compared to no-fault solutions, nor to determine which account of the cause of the PL&I crisis is closer to the truth, but rather to find out whether Robinson’s solution would indeed require less radical legal reform than, for example, proposed no-fault solutions. I will argue that Robinson fails to show that current tort principles would support his proposed solution, and hence that his solution is at best on an even footing with no-fault solutions since both would require comprehensive legal reform. (shrink)
The relationship of corporate social responsibility to risk management has been treated sporadically in the business society literature. Using real options theory, I develop the notion of corporate social responsibility as a real option its implications for risk management. Real options theory allows for a strategic view of corporate social responsibility. Specifically, real options theory suggests that corporate social responsibility should be negatively related to the firm’s ex ante downside business risk.
Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging (...) studies of brain function during moral and risky decision-making. This research also constitutes the first replication of a novel experimental measure of distributive justice decision-making, for which individual variation in performance was found. Further examination of decision-making processes across different contexts may lead to an improved understanding of the factors affecting moral behaviour. (shrink)
Ulrich Beck's best selling Risk Society established risk on the sociological agenda. It brought together a wide range of issues centering on environmental, health and personal risk, provided a rallying ground for researchers and activists in a variety of social movements and acted as a reference point for state and local policies in risk management. The Risk Society and Beyond charts the progress of Beck's ideas and traces their evolution. It demonstrates why the issues raised (...) by Beck reverberate widely throughout social theory and covers the new risks that Beck did not foresee, associated with the emergence of new technologies, genetic and cybernetic. The book is unique because it offers both an introduction to the main arguments in Risk Society and develops a range of critical discussions of aspects of this and other works of Beck. (shrink)
We discuss ethical aspects of risk-taking with special focus on principlism and mid-level moral principles. A new distinction between the strength of an obligation and the degree to which it is valid is proposed. We then use this distinction for arguing that, in cases where mid-level moral principles come into conflict, the moral status of the act under consideration may be indeterminate, in a sense rendered precise in the paper. We apply this thought to issues related to pandemic influenza (...) vaccines. The main conclusion of the paper is that on a principlist approach some acts may be neither right nor wrong (or neither permissible nor impermissible), and we claim that this has important implications for how we ought to make decisions under risk. (shrink)
There are certain kinds of risk for which governments, rather than individual actors, are increasingly held responsible. This article discusses how regulatory institutions can ensure an equitable distribution of risk between various groups such as rich and poor, and present and future generations. It focuses on cases of risk associated with technological and biotechnological innovation. After discussing various possibilities and difficulties of distribution, this article proposes a non-welfarist understanding of risk as a burden of cooperation.
This paper surveys the current philosophical discussion of the ethics of risk imposition, placing it in the context of relevant work in psychology, economics and social theory. The central philosophical problem starts from the observation that it is not practically possible to assign people individual rights not to be exposed to risk, as virtually all activity imposes some risk on others. This is the ‘problem of paralysis’. However, the obvious alternative theory that exposure to risk is (...) justified when its total benefits exceed its total costs faces the standard distributional challenges of consequentialism. Forms of contractualism have been proposed as a solution, but how exactly such theories can be formulated remains problematic, especially when confronted with the difficult cases of mass, novel, risk such as climate change. (shrink)
The orthodox theory of instrumental rationality, expected utility (EU) theory, severely restricts the way in which risk-considerations can figure into a rational individual's preferences. It is argued here that this is because EU theory neglects an important component of instrumental rationality. This paper presents a more general theory of decision-making, risk-weighted expected utility (REU) theory, of which expected utility maximization is a special case. According to REU theory, the weight that each outcome gets in decision-making is not the (...) subjective probability of that outcome; rather, the weight each outcome gets depends on both its subjective probability and its position in the gamble. Furthermore, the individual's utility function, her subjective probability function, and a function that measures her attitude towards risk can be separately derived from her preferences via a Representation Theorem. This theorem illuminates the role that each of these entities plays in preferences, and shows how REU theory explicates the components of instrumental rationality. (shrink)
This article explores the links between strategic goals, enterprise risk management, and ethics. We offer a typology of managerial attitudes toward strategic goals and rationality and explore the interaction between strategic and ethical decision making. In so doing, we offer a practical framework for managers to approach ethical dilemmas in the highly complex, volatile, and risky economy that we currently find ourselves in.
An approach to describing risk analysis, risk perception and risk interpretation under a single umbrella starting with a general definition of risk as "adverse consequences under uncertainty." The idea of risk representation is introduced as an omnibus term for many different ways of conceptualizing risk and deploying risk messages in science, government or society.
As software piracy continues to be a threat to the growth of national and global economies, understanding why people continue to use pirated software and learning how to discourage the use of pirated software are urgent and important issues. In addition to applying the theory of planned behavior (TPB) perspective to capture behavioral intention to use pirated software, this paper considers perceived risk as a salient belief influencing attitude and intention toward using pirated software. Four perceived risk components (...) related to the use of pirated software (performance, social, prosecution and psychological risks) have been identified, measured and tested. Data were collected through an online survey of 305 participants. The results indicate that perceived prosecution risk has an impact on intention to use pirated software, and perceived psychological risk is a strong predictor of attitude toward using pirated software. In addition, attitude and perceived behavior control contribute significantly to the intended use of pirated software. However, the proposed direct relationship between subjective norm and intention to use pirated software is not supported. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Inductive reasoning is a fundamental and complex aspect of human intelligence. In particular, how do subjects, given a set of particular examples, generate general descriptions of the rules governing that set? We present a biologically plausible method for accomplishing this task and implement it in a spiking neuron model. We demonstrate the success of this model by applying it to the problem domain of Raven's Progressive Matrices, a widely used tool in the field of intelligence testing. The model is (...) able to generate the rules necessary to correctly solve Raven's items, as well as recreate many of the experimental effects observed in human subjects. (shrink)
This article examines the epistemology of risk assessment in the context of financial modelling for the purposes of making loan underwriting decisions. A financing request for a company in the paper and pulp industry is considered in some detail. The paper and pulp industry was chosen because (1) it is subject to some specific risks that have been identified and studied by bankers, investors and managers of paper and pulp companies and (2) certain features of the industry enable analysts (...) to quantify the impact of specific risk events of a given dimension on a company's future financial performance. While companies in other industries may be subject to similar risk factors, the impact of risk events may be more difficult to gauge in those industries. The ability of financial analysts to model the impact of a risk event, and hence quantify a credit risk, increases the predictive accuracy of the model. I argue that bankers and regulators should recognise the uncertainty associated with unquantifiable credit risk in financial models, and they should view this uncertainty as a credit risk factor in and of itself. Evaluating the relative degree to which credit risk is quantifiable in financial models is a potentially significant yet largely unrecognised tool for credit risk management. I consider some possible applications of this assessment tool for managing risk within the banking industry. (shrink)
David McCarthy has recently suggested that our compensation and liability practices may be interpreted as reflecting a fundamental norm to hold people liable for imposing risk of harm on others. Independently, closely related ideas have been criticised by Stephen R. Perry and Arthur Ripstein as incompatible with central features of negligence law. We aim to show that these objections are unsuccessful against McCarthy’s Risk–liability theory, and that such an approach is a promising means both for understanding the moral (...) basis of liability for negligence and for reasoning about possible reforms of the institution of negligence law. (shrink)
It has been common wisdom for centuries that scientific inference cannot be deductive; if it is inference at all, it must be a distinctive kind of inductive inference. According to demonstrative theories of induction, however, important scientific inferences are not inductive in the sense of requiring ampliative inference rules at all. Rather, they are deductive inferences with sufficiently strong premises. General considerations about inferences suffice to show that there is no difference in justification between an inference construed demonstratively (...) or ampliatively. The inductiverisk may be shouldered by premises or rules, but it cannot be shirked. Demonstrative theories of induction might, nevertheless, better describe scientific practice. And there may be good methodological reasons for constructing our inferences one way rather than the other. By exploring the limits of these possible advantages, I argue that scientific inference is neither of essence deductive nor of essence inductive. (shrink)
Which risks are bad? This is not an easy question to answer in any non-circular way. Not only are risks sought out for various reasons, but risks are plainly discounted in many situations. What may seem "risky" when examined all by itself, may not seem risky when encountered in a real lived situation. Thus risks that are imposed by others, in particular, might seem horrendous when considered in abstraction, but quite acceptable when encountered in life. What we need to do, (...) among other things, is to examine this "seeming." Are people being deluded or distracted when they fail to take seriously the riskiness of activities undertaken by others, or does this make some rational sense? There can be no doubt that people sometimes are deluded, of course. We are all fallible. But risks are not unalloyed evils. They are typically taken because of their association with something positive. So questions about whether people are making wise judgments when they don’t care about certain risks that they take, or, on the other side of the coin, when they become absolutely hysterical when confronted with a risk that appears to others to be insignificant, hinge on a web of further factors. (shrink)
This paper analyses the nature of the relationship between risk and responsibility. Since neither the concept of risk nor the concept of responsibility has an unequivocal definition, it is obvious that there is no single interpretation of their relationship. After introducing the different meanings of responsibility used in this paper, we analyse four conceptions of risk. This allows us to make their link with responsibility explicit and to determine if a shift in the connection between risk (...) and responsibility can be outlined. (1) In the engineer’s paradigm, the quantitative conception of risk does not include any concept of responsibility. Their relationship is indirect, the locus of responsibility being risk management. (2) In Mary Douglas’ cultural theory, risks are constructed through the responsibilities they engage. (3) Rayner and (4) Wolff go further by integrating forms of responsibility in the definition of risk itself. Analysis of these four frameworks shows that the concepts of risk and responsibility are increasingly intertwined. This tendency is reinforced by increasing public awareness and a call for the integration of a moral dimension in risk management. Therefore, we suggest that a form of virtue-responsibility should also be integrated in the concept of risk. (shrink)
Risk analysis and regulatory systems are usually evaluated according to utilitarian frameworks, as they are viewed to operate “objectively” by considering the health, environmental, and economic impacts of technological applications. Yet, the estimation of impacts during risk analysis and the decisions in regulatory review are affected by value choices of actors and stakeholders; attention to principles such as autonomy, justice, and integrity; and power relationships. In this article, case studies of biotechnology are used to illustrate how non-utilitarian principles (...) are prominent in risk analysis and regulatory review and to argue that these relationships should be carefully considered as we consider nanotechnology oversight systems for its products. We argue that there are not distinct separations between “science-based” review systems, in which evaluations of the consequences of technological products are primarily considered, and principles of integrity, justice, non-maleficence, and autonomy. It should further be expected that, given research into fair treatment during decision-making processes, attention to ethics will affect how citizens assess emerging technologies. Finally, a more holistic approach for evaluating oversight systems for the products of nanotechnology is suggested, one which does not draw a sharp distinction between risk analysis, regulation, and respect for non-utilitarian values. (shrink)
Risk is not always nasty. Risk can be the cost of opportunity, of course; but sometimes risk is regarded not as a cost at all, but as a close attendant of pleasure. Many things that people invest considerable time and resources in would not be pursued at all if not for the attendant risk. Attempting to offer clarification of the role that risk plays in human affairs is thus itself a risky business. People largely want (...) to avoid unnecessary risk except when they deliberately seek it out. One might be tempted to say that people are funny that way. In what follows, I shall attempt to undermine the temptation to say this. I shall argue that there is nothing at all odd or funny about the fact that people are sometimes drawn to and sometimes repelled by risk. I would contend, further, that a clear understanding of the way value enters human affairs not only allows but requires this. (shrink)
This study is rooted in the research traditions of cultivation theory, construct accessibility, and availability heuristic. Based on a survey with 221 subjects, this study finds that familiarity with direct-to-consumer (DTC) print advertisements for antidepressant brands is associated with inflated perceptions of the prevalence and lifetime risk of depression. The study concludes that DTC advertising potentially has significant effects on perceptions of depression prevalence and risk. Interpersonal experiences with depression coupled with DTC advertising appear to significantly predict individuals’ (...) perceived lifetime risk of depression. The study ultimately demonstrates that DTC advertising may play a role in constructing social reality of diseases and medicine. The findings strongly suggest that the social cognitive effects of DTC advertising are far-reaching, impacting pharmaceutical marketing strategy as well as presenting issues regarding public health and the business ethics of advertising drugs to consumers. (shrink)
This paper breaks with the sociological notion of ‘risk society’ and argues in favour of a philosophical view that sees the two planetary threats of late modernity, nuclear weapons and global warming, as ultimate challenges to morality and politics rather than risks that we can take and manage. The paper also raises the question of why we should feel responsible for the effects of these two global challenges on future generations and in this sense elaborates on the transgenerational chain (...) of parenthood rather than on considerations of justice. (shrink)
Studies on so-called Change Blindness and Inattentional Blindness have been taken to establish the claim that conscious perception of a stimulus requires the attentional processing of that stimulus. One might contend, against this claim, that the evidence only shows attention to be necessary for the subject to have access to the contents of conscious perception and not for conscious perception itself. This “Methodological Argument” is gaining ground among philosophers who work on attention and consciousness, such as Christopher Mole. I find (...) that, without the supporting evidence of inaccessible consciousness, this argument collapses into an indefensible form of inductive parsimony. The Methodological Argument is thus shown to be unsuccessful when used against the claim that attention is required for conscious perception, though I suggest that it may be successful against the more ambitious claim that attention is necessary for all conscious experience. (shrink)
Risk analysis as a regulatory driver has now become firmly entrenched in public health and environmental protection. Risk analysis at any level essentially has to accommodate two gut feelings of the constituency: whether society should be risk-prone or risk averse, and whether government and its institutions can be trusted to make the necessary decisions with a high or a low degree of discretion. The precautionary principle (or rejection thereof) arguably is the ultimate reflection of the promotion (...) of risk to a societal value. There is no doubt that especially amongst the representatives of the Member States (as opposed to the officials at the European Commission), public (pre)caution with respect to the long-term environmental and public health implications of gene technology influenced the reluctance to allow marketing of GM foods and feeds until a strict regulatory regime had been rolled out. Industry would argue that the delay in regulation, as well as the eventual regime was of such a nature as to stifle the technology. This contribution reviews a number of features of standard EU risk analysis decisions, so as to assess its current propensity towards smothering rather than smoothing the introduction of new technology. The current development of a regulatory framework for nanotechnology serves as a case study. (shrink)
We give a unified account of some results in the development of Polyadic Inductive Logic in the last decade with particular reference to the Principle of Spectrum Exchangeability, its consequences for Instantial Relevance, Language Invariance and Johnson's Sufficientness Principle, and the corresponding de Finetti style representation theorems.
In this article, a framework is suggested to deal with the analysis of global environmental risk governance. Climate Change is taken as a particular form of contemporary environmental risk, and mobilised to refine and characterize some salient aspects of new governance challenges. A governance framework is elaborated along three basic features: (1) a close relationship with science, (2) an in-built reflexivity, and (3) forms of governmentality. The UNFCCC-centered system is then assessed according to this three-tier framework. While the (...) two-first requisites are largely met, the analysis of governmentality points to some institutional weak spots. (shrink)
This article applies the concept of prudence to develop the characteristics of responsible risk-modeling practices in the insurance industry. A critical evaluation of the risk-modeling process suggests that ethical judgments are emergent rather than static, vague rather than clear, particular rather than universal, and still defensible according to the discipline’s established theory, which will support a range of judgments. Thus, positive moral guides for responsible behavior are of limited practical value. Instead, by being prudent, modelers can improve their (...) ability to deal with the ethical and technical complexity of the risk-modeling process. While the application of prudence to resolve ethical challenges in risk modeling, an issue of practical importance to managers, is a first in the literature, the practice of applying an ethical lens to issues of pragmatic importance for managers is well established in Maak and Pless (J Bus Ethics 66:99–115, 2006a ; Responsible leadership, 2006b ) among others. (shrink)
Ethical dilemmas involving tax issues were identified by members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as posing the most difficult ethical problem for them (Finn et al., Journal of Business Ethics 7(8), pp. 607–609, 1988). The KPMG tax shelter fraud case proves that the tax profession has not gone untainted in the age of numerous accounting and corporate scandals, such as the Enron débâcle (Sikka and Hampton, Accounting Forum 29(3), 325–343, 2005). High-profile scandals serve to highlight the problems (...) caused by differences in ethical judgement among accountants and tax practitioners and the issue of ethics has been brought publicly to the forefront of the profession. Nevertheless, the nature and dimension of ethical issues in tax practice have been largely unexplored (Erard, Journal of Public Economics 52(2), 163–197, 1993; Marshall et al., Journal of Business Ethics 17(12), 1265–1279, 1998; Frecknall Hughes, Unpublished PhD Thesis, The University of Leeds, 2002). This research aims to contribute to the debate on ethics in tax practice by reporting interview data on tax practitioners’ perceptions of ethics in the jurisdictions of Ireland and the United Kingdom and exploring the link or equation of ethics with risk management. (shrink)
This paper considers the role of physicaleducation researchers within current publicconcerns about body shape and weight. UsingUlrich Beck's notion of `risk' it examines howcertainty about children, obesity, exercise andhealth is produced in the contexts of `expert'knowledge and recontextualised in the academicand professional physical education literature.It is argued that the unquestioning acceptanceof the obesity discourses in physical educationhelps to construct anxieties about the body,which are detrimental to students and silencesalternative ways of thinking and doing physicaleducation.
Risk management of nanotechnology is challenged by the enormous uncertainties about the risks, benefits, properties, and future direction of nanotechnology applications. Because of these uncertainties, traditional risk management principles such as acceptable risk, cost–benefit analysis, and feasibility are unworkable, as is the newest risk management principle, the precautionary principle. Yet, simply waiting for these uncertainties to be resolved before undertaking risk management efforts would not be prudent, in part because of the growing public concerns about (...) nanotechnology driven by risk perception heuristics such as affect and availability. A more reflexive, incremental, and cooperative risk management approach is required, which not only will help manage emerging risks from nanotechnology applications, but will also create a new risk management model for managing future emerging technologies. (shrink)
Despite their crucial role in the translation of pre-clinical research into new clinical applications, phase 1 trials involving patients continue to prompt ethical debate. At the heart of the controversy is the question of whether risks of administering experimental drugs are therapeutically justified. We suggest that prior attempts to address this question have been muddled, in part because it cannot be answered adequately without first attending to the way labor is divided in managing risk in clinical trials. In what (...) follows, we approach the question of therapeutic justification for phase 1 trials from the viewpoint of five different stakeholders: the drug regulatory authority, the IRB, the clinical investigator, the referring physician, and the patient. Our analysis shows that the question of therapeutic justification actually raises multiple questions corresponding to the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders involved. By attending to these contextual differences, we provide more coherent guidance for the ethical negotiation of risk in phase 1 trials involving patients. We close by discussing the implications of our argument for various perennial controversies in phase 1 trial practice. (shrink)
Just as a stream of genetically modifiedcrops looked set to be approved for commercialproduction in the European Union, the approvalprocedure appears to have become bogged down onceagain by disagreements among and within member states.Old controversies have resurfaced in new forms. Theintractability of the issues suggests that theregulatory procedure has had too narrow a focus,leaving outside its boundary many of the morefundamental aspects that cause people in the EuropeanUnion most concern. Regulators have come underconsiderable pressure to ensure their risk assessmentdecisions (...) are soundly science-based. Ethical issueshave been deemed to lie beyond the scope of theregulatory procedure, as a matter to be consideredseparately by professional ethicists. Yet it has beensuggested that all environmental controversies at rootinvolve disputes about fundamental ethical principles.This paper examines how the ethical issues arecurrently suppressed or sidelined. It discusses how anappreciation of systems thinking and a check on thevalues that underpin decisions, using boundary testingquestions, might contribute to a more constructiveregulatory dialogue, with ethical issues considered asintegral in a way that takes better account ofpeople's concerns. (shrink)
The 2006 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, 'Ethical Considerations for Research Involving Prisoners', recommended five main changes to current US Common Rule regulations on prisoner research. Their third recommendation was to shift from a category-based to a risk-benefit approach to research review, similar to current guidelines on pediatric research. However, prisoners are not children, so risk-benefit constraints on prisoner research must be justified in a different way from those on pediatric research. In this paper I argue that additional (...)risk-benefit constraints on prisoner research are unnecessary: the current Common Rule regulations, omitting category-based restrictions but conjoined with the IOM report's other four main recommendations, ensure that prisoner research is as ethical as non-prisoner research is. I explain why four problems which which may be more prevalent in prisons and which risk-benefit constraints may seem to address – coercion, undue inducements, exploitation, and protection from harm – are in fact not solved by adding further risk-benefit constraints on prisoner research. (shrink)
With the growing focus on prevention in medicine, studies of how to describe risk have become increasing important. Recently, some researchers have argued against giving patients “comparative risk information,” such as data about whether their baseline risk of developing a particular disease is above or below average. The concern is that giving patients this information will interfere with their consideration of more relevant data, such as the specific chance of getting the disease (the “personal risk”), the (...)risk reduction the treatment provides, and any possible side effects. I explore this view and the theories of rationality that ground it, and I argue instead that comparative risk information can play a positive role in decision-making. The criticism of disclosing this sort of information to patients, I conclude, rests on a mistakenly narrow account of the goals of prevention and the nature of rational choice in medicine. (shrink)
We consider the problem of induction over languages containing binary relations and outline a way of interpreting and constructing a class of probability functions on the sentences of such a language. Some principles of inductive reasoning satisfied by these probability functions are discussed, leading in turn to a representation theorem for a more general class of probability functions satisfying these principles.
The article gives a graphical interpretation of the concept of risk vulnerability. It shows that in a specific context of binary lotteries the assumption of risk vulnerability adds to prudence what the assumption of decreasing absolute risk aversion adds to risk aversion. We end the presentation showing that results can be extended to the concept of multiplicative risk vulnerability.
This paper introduces Nymity’s Privacy Risk Optimization Process (PROP), a process that enables the implementation of privacy into operational policies and procedures, which embodies in Privacy by Design for business practices. The PROP is based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) concept that risk can be positive and negative; and further defines Risk Optimization as a process whereby organizations strive to maximize positive risks and mitigate negative ones. The PROP uses these concepts to implement privacy into (...) operational policies and procedures. This paper was produced by Nymity and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada. It was presented by Terry McQuay, President of Nymity, at Privacy by Design: The Definitive Workshop, in Madrid, Spain, on November 2nd, 2009. The workshop was hosted by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada, and Yoram Hacohen, Head of the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority. (shrink)