CFP: Synthese Special Issue on Norms for Risk

Submission deadline: May 6, 2019

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Norms for Risk

Guest Editors: Renée Jorgensen Bolinger, Seth Lazar, Alan Hájek (Australian National University)


Orthodox decision theory offers a useful—though by no means uncontested—tool for making rational decisions under risk. But it is less clear how useful is it for handling moral decision-making with imperfect information. Can we simply import the standard decision-theoretic approach wholesale, or does it need to be somehow modified? It is murky what the underlying connection is between rational and moral decision-making under risk; whether the latter is just a subspecies of the former, or in some respects fundamentally different. There is much to learn at this intersection. Reflection on moral cases may shed new light on fundamental problems and lacunas in classical decision theory, and those problems might offer novel challenges to the axiomatic approach to rationality at the heart of decision theory. The aim of this special issue of Synthese is to investigate these questions at the intersection of moral and rational norms for risk.

Appropriate Topics for Submission include, among others:

·      If we allow that various risk-averse or risk-seeking attitudes can be rational, how does this affect well-established decision-theoretic arguments for various philosophical positions?

·      Do all types of risk affect decision-making in the same way, or is the appropriate role of risk sensitive to additional distinctions (among types, contents, or domains, etc.)?

·      Does risk affect the evidential value of statistics (e.g. for predictive profiling or in legal contexts)?

·      What lessons can we glean about the norms of rational decision-making from other domains? Can reflection on moral cases shed new light on fundamental problems and lacunas in classical decision theory?

·      How should our theory of moral decision-making under risk draw on or depart from rational decision theory?

·      Can the formal methods of decision theory shed light on problems in distributive justice?

·      Are there illuminating structural parallels between the norms for rational belief, rational decision, and moral action?

·      Do problems in other normative domains offer novel challenges to the axiomatic approach to rationality at the heart of decision theory?

Please submit your paper using the editorial manager at https://www.editorialmanager.com/synt/ by 6 May 2019. When the system asks you to “Choose Article Type”, select “S.I. Norms for Risk”in the pulldown menu.


Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available here:

https://www.springer.com/philosophy/epistemology+and+philosophy+of+science/journal/11229

For further information, please contact the guest editors: 

Renee.Bolinger@anu.edu.au

Alan.Hajek@anu.edu.au

Seth.Lazar@anu.edu.au

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