CFP: Rethinking Risk

Submission deadline: March 3, 2019

Conference date(s):
May 31, 2019

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Philosophisches Seminar, University of Zürich
Zollikerstrasse 117, Switzerland

Topic areas


Rethinking Risk



Susanne Burri

(London School of Economics)

May 31st 2019

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.

Call for Papers

Please send your abstract (maximum length 500 words) to by March 3rd, 2019, stating “CfP Rethinking Risk” in the subject line. Abstracts should be formatted for blind review. Please provide a separate cover sheet with your contact details.

We aim to inform you of the success of your submission by early March. Authors who are accepted will have to submit their papers by May 10th, 2019 (max. 8’000 words). All papers will be circulated in advance of the workshop and participants are expected to have read them beforehand.

Unfortunately, we cannot cover travel expenses; however, for selected participants who do not have funding through their home institution, we hope to be able to arrange for basic accommodations. Lunch and dinner are provided for all speakers on the day of the workshop.


Attendance is free, but registration is necessary. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Attendees are expected to have read the papers beforehand. To register, please send an email to (stating your full name, academic title and institutional affiliation).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at


Friedemann Bieber, Jennifer Page

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