Responding to an Uncertain Future: Normative Theories of Risk and Climate Change Policy
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Risk and uncertainty pervade life from individual everyday choices to large-scale political decisions. The range extends from risks and uncertainties associated with climate change, terrorist attacks and new technologies to more prosaic examples related to health, accidents, financial crises and everything in between. Philosophical concern with the topics of risk and uncertainty is at an all-time high.
This workshop addresses the definition, assessment, moral evaluation and management of risks and uncertainties. It involves contributions from a broad range of normative theories (ethics, political philosophy, political theory, law, etc.) as well as from related public policy fields, especially those concerned with risk and uncertainty in the context of climate change.
Questions that are addressed include, but are not limited to, the following:
- What (if anything) is the harm in imposing a risk?
- How can risk imposition be justified?
- How to fairly distribute risk?
- How to deal with uncertainty, for example in large-scale technologies?
- How does the presence of risk affect our duties to future generations?
- What role (if any) should public perceptions of risk have in policy-making?
- Is the Precautionary Principle sound?
- In relation to climate change, how can we tackle deep uncertainties about the future in an ethical way?
The workshop will be organized around a public lecture and a series of presentations with attendant commentaries.