Existential risk pessimism and the time of perils

Abstract

When our choice affects some other person and the outcome is unknown, it has been argued that we should defer to their risk attitude, if known, or else default to use of a risk avoidant risk function. This, in turn, has been claimed to require the use of a risk avoidant risk function when making decisions that primarily affect future people, and to decrease the desirability of efforts to prevent human extinction, owing to the significant risks associated with continued human survival. I raise objections to the claim that respect for others’ risk attitudes requires risk avoidance when choosing for future generations. In particular, I argue that there is no known principle of interpersonal aggregation that yields acceptable results in variable population contexts and is consistent with a plausible ideal of respect for others’ risk attitudes in fixed population cases. GPI Working Paper No . 20-2022

Analytics

Added to PP
2023-10-06

Downloads
174 (#71,277)

6 months
147 (#18,828)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?