Rethinking Risk

May 31, 2019
Philosophisches Seminar, University of Zürich

Seminar room
Center for Ethics
Zollikerstrasse 117 8008

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Main speakers:

London School of Economics


University of Zürich
University of Zürich

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Risk has recently gained increasing attention in normative and applied ethics, both as a tool for challenging existing theoretical frameworks as well as a subject of investigation in its own right. The purpose of this Zurich Doctoral Workshop is to take a step back, and investigate how the presence of risk affects the demands of justice and moral permissibility, how to best conceive of situations of risk, and how to model them in philosophical debate. For instance, in relying on highly stylised and well-defined thought experiments, many philosophers implicitly commit to the assumption that in evaluating cases of risk imposition, we are primarily concerned with a trade-off between statistically identified amounts of risk and other benefits. Yet, given the importance people attach to duties of due care and epistemic prudence, this appears to be an overly narrow way of framing the issue. Moreover, how we think about risk can reflect how we implicitly think about the value of life.

In this workshop, we want to critically reflect on the ways the topic of risk is being discussed in philosophy. In order to do so, we invite contributions that directly address questions of justice and moral permissibility under conditions of risk – for instance in (but not limited to) contexts of war, policing and climate change – as well as papers that critically engage with the question of how to best think of and model situations of risk in philosophical debate at a more abstract level.

Susanne Burri, who will be chairing this Zurich Doctoral Workshop, is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the London School of Economics and has written widely on risk, justice, non-interference and the value of life. This one-day, read-ahead workshop will consist of a lecture by Prof. Burri as well as the discussion of four to five papers by graduate students.

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May 27, 2019, 12:00am CET

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