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  1. A trilemma for the lexical utility model of the precautionary principle.H. Orri Stefánsson - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    Bartha and DesRoches (2021) and Steel and Bartha (2023) argue that we should understand the precautionary principle as the injunction to maximise lexical utilities. They show that the lexical utility model has important pragmatic advantages. Moreover, the model has the theoretical advantage of satisfying all axioms of expected utility theory except continuity. In this paper I raise a trilemma for any attempt at modelling the precautionary principle with lexical utilities: it permits choice cycles or leads to paralysis or implies that (...)
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  • Modeling the precautionary principle with lexical utilities.Paul Bartha & C. Tyler DesRoches - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8701-8740.
    Confronted with the possibility of severe environmental harms, such as catastrophic climate change, some researchers have suggested that we should abandon the principle at the heart of standard decision theory—the injunction to maximize expected utility—and embrace a different one: the Precautionary Principle. Arguably, the most sophisticated philosophical treatment of the Precautionary Principle is due to Steel. Steel interprets PP as a qualitative decision rule and appears to conclude that a quantitative decision-theoretic statement of PP is both impossible and unnecessary. In (...)
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  • Catastrophic risk.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (11):1-11.
    Catastrophic risk raises questions that are not only of practical importance, but also of great philosophical interest, such as how to define catastrophe and what distinguishes catastrophic outcomes from non-catastrophic ones. Catastrophic risk also raises questions about how to rationally respond to such risks. How to rationally respond arguably partly depends on the severity of the uncertainty, for instance, whether quantitative probabilistic information is available, or whether only comparative likelihood information is available, or neither type of information. Finally, catastrophic risk (...)
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