Responding to an Uncertain Future: Normative Theories of Risk and Climate Change Policy

June 21, 2017 - June 23, 2017
Department of Philosophy, University of Graz


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Selected speakers:

Eike Düvel
University of Graz
Maria Ferretti
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Maria Paola Ferretti
Goethe University Frankfurt
Johann Frick
Princeton University
Sven-Ove Hansson
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Madeleine Hayenhjelm
Umeå University
Rahul Kumar
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Lukas Meyer
University of Graz
John Oberdiek
Rutgers University
Daniel Petz
University of Graz
Adriana Placani
University of Graz
Klaus Steigleder
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Harald Stelzer
University of Graz


Eike Düvel
University of Graz
Lukas Meyer
University of Graz
Adriana Placani
University of Graz
Thomas Pölzler
University of Graz
Harald Stelzer
University of Graz

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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.

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University of Graz
University College, Cork

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