Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):217-230 (2018)

Authors
Andreas T. Christiansen
University of Copenhagen
Abstract
In a number of writings, Cass Sunstein has argued that we should use cost-benefit analysis as our primary approach to risk management, because cost-benefit analysis corrects for the cognitive biases that mar our thinking about risk. The paper critically evaluates this ‘cognitive argument for cost-benefit analysis’ and finds it wanting. Once we make distinctions between different cognitive errors and between different aspects of cost-benefit analysis, it becomes apparent that there are really two cognitive arguments, neither of which is successful as arguments for cost-benefit analysis as a whole. One argument shows that the analysis aspect of cost-benefit analysis is warranted because it corrects for false beliefs about the magnitudes of risk and for the neglect of some costs. While this is a sound argument, it does not provide an argument for other aspects of cost-benefit analysis. The second argument purports to show that commensurating and monetizing the values of the effects of regulation is warranted because it corrects for the use of widely diverging values of a statistical life. This argument fails because the use of widely diverging values of a statistical life is not a cognitive error: It is neither precluded by considerations of instrumental rationality, nor by the requirement of treating like cases alike.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-018-9883-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,513
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Death.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Noûs 4 (1):73-80.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Cost-Benefit Analysis and Procedural Values.Douglas MacLean - 1994 - Analyse & Kritik 16 (2):166-180.
Rationalizing Risks to Cultural Loss in Resource Development.Sari Graben - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 26 (1):83-114.
Science, Democracy, and Public Policy.Kristin Shrader‐Frechette - 1992 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 6 (2-3):255-264.
Costs and Benefits of Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Response to Bantz and MacLean.Peter Railton - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:261-271.
Economics, Risk-Cost-Benefit Analysis, and the Linearity Assumption.K. S. Shrader-Frechette - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:217 - 232.
Natura Economica in Environmental Valuation.Katrine Soma - 2006 - Environmental Values 15 (1):31-50.
Natura Economica in Environmental Valuation.Katrine Soma - 2006 - Environmental Values 15 (1):31 - 50.
Cost-Benefit Analysis.Richard Layard & Stephen Glaister (eds.) - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.
Sind alle Werte vergleichbar?Peter Schaber - 1994 - Analyse & Kritik 16 (2):153-165.
Regulatory Review and Cost-Benefit Analysis.Mark Sagoff - 2009 - Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly 29 (3/4):21-26.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-04-06

Total views
14 ( #705,700 of 2,446,527 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #456,659 of 2,446,527 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes