Evaluating life or death prospects

Economics and Philosophy 28 (2):217-249 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX


We consider a special set of risky prospects in which the outcomes are either life or death. There are various alternatives to the utilitarian objective of minimizing the expected loss of lives in such prospects. We start off with the two-person case with independent risks and construct taxonomies of ex ante and ex post evaluations for such prospects. We examine the relationship between the ex ante and the ex post in this restrictive framework: There are more possibilities to respect ex ante and ex post objectives simultaneously than in the general framework, i.e. without the restriction to binary utilities. We extend our results to n persons and to dependent risks. We study optimal strategies for allocating risk reductions given different objectives. We place our results against the backdrop of various pro-poorly off value functions for the evaluation of risky prospects.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,712

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A unified Bayesian decision theory.Richard Bradley - 2007 - Theory and Decision 63 (3):233-263,.
Death.James W. Evra - 1984 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 5 (2).
Current debate on the ethical issues of brain death.Masahiro Morioka - 2004 - Proceedings of International Congress on Ethical Issues in Brain Death and Organ Transplantation:57-59.
Mating and marriage, husbands and lovers.Stephen Beckerman - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):590-591.


Added to PP

111 (#117,020)

6 months
2 (#323,506)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Luc Bovens
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Marc Fleurbaey
Princeton University

Citations of this work

The Ethics of Making Risky Decisions for Others.Luc Bovens - 2019 - In Mark D. White (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics. Oxford University Press. pp. 446-473.
The Ethics of Dieselgate.Luc Bovens - 2016 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 40 (1):262-283.
Catastrophic risk.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (11):1-11.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Equality or Priority?Derek Parfit - 2002 - In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 81-125.

View all 7 references / Add more references