Ethics and Uncertainty: The Guest Editor’s Introduction

Diametros 53:1-5 (2017)
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Abstract
Until very recently, normative theorizing in ethics was frequently conducted without even mentioning uncertainty. Just a few years ago, Sven Ove Hansson described this state of affairs with the slogan: “Ethics still lives in a Newtonian world.” In the new Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability, David McCarthy writes that “mainstream moral philosophy has not been much concerned with probability,” understanding probability as “the best-known tool for thinking about uncertainty.” This special predilection for certainty in ethics was surprising since most decisions or evaluations are made both by individuals and policy-makers through the fog of a widely understood uncertainty that includes risk, ignorance, indeterminacy. Therefore, the main task of this special issue and international essay prize competition is to encourage philosophers to rethink the standard paradigm in ethics by redirecting discussions about ethical questions to problems involving different kinds of uncertainty when an individual or a policy maker does not have access to or knowledge about.
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Archival date: 2018-03-05
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