Against Beck: In defence of risk analysis

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (2):149-172 (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX


For more than 10 years, Ulrich Beck has dominated discussion of risk issues in the social sciences. We argue that Beck's criticisms of the theory and practise of risk analysis are groundless. His understanding of what risk is is badly flawed. His attempt to identify risk and risk perception fails. He misunderstands and distorts the use of probability in risk analysis. His comments about the insurance industry show that he does not understand some of the basics of that industry. And his assertions about the wrongness of allowing acceptable levels of exposure to toxic chemicals do not stand up to scrutiny. Key Words: Beck • risk analysis • risk perception • probability • insurance.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,662

External links

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

Through your library


Added to PP

102 (#120,189)

6 months
1 (#420,432)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.Ulrich Beck, Mark Ritter & Jennifer Brown - 1993 - Environmental Values 2 (4):367-368.
World Risk Society.Ulrich Beck - 2012 - In Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, Stig Andur Pedersen & Vincent F. Hendricks (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. Wiley-Blackwell.
The Vacuity of Postmodernist Methodology.Nicholas Shackel - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (3):295-320.

View all 21 references / Add more references