The Ethics of Technological Risk

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'A comprehensive and important collection that includes essays by some of the leading figures in the field. ...Essential reading for anyone interested in risk assessment.' Professor Kristin Shrader-Frechette, University of Notre Dame 'The editors are to be congratulated for bringing together a distinguished international group of theorists to reflect on the issues. This volume will be sure to raise the level of debate while at the same time showing the importance of philosophical reflection in approaches to the problems of the age.' Professor Jonathan Wolff, University College London This volume brings together top authors from the fields of risk, philosophy, social sciences and psychology to address the issue of how we should decide how far technological risks are morally acceptable or not. The underlying principles are examined, along with methodological challenges, public involvement and instruments for democratization. A strong theoretical basis is complemented by a range of case studies from some of the most contentious areas, including medical ethics and GM crops. This book is a vital new resource for researchers, students and anyone concerned that traditional approaches to risk management don't adequately address ethical considerations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'An excellent introduction into the field of the ethics of risks. Both philosophers interested in risks and risks analysts who would like to include moral considerations in their analyses will find the book informative.' - Science and Engineering Ethics

'A timely recognition of the growing need to address philosophical questions concerning technological risk, risk assessment processes and regulation ... It opens discussions, shows the potential of philosophical analysis and reports case studies that take the proposed agenda further.' - Theoria

'This book makes a significant contribution to the development of a new vision for science and society, a vision that sees society actively engaged in making decisions about the content and direction of technological development.' - Dr Richard Jennings, SGR Newsletter

'This is a worthwhile book, which brings together an inspiring collection of philosophical discussions of risk and uncertainty whilst convincingly making the case for the importance of ethical consideration in risk management.' - Journal of Risk Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844076383
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Series: Earthscan Risk in Society Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sabine Roeser is an assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy, Delft University of Technology. She has published articles and edited books in the areas of moral philosophy, risk and emotion. Lotte Asveld currently works at the Dutch Institute for Technology Assessment, the Rathenau Institute in The Hague.

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Table of Contents

Yvo de Boer


Part I: Introduction

1. The Ethics of Technological Risk: Introduction and Overview

2. An Agenda for the Ethics of Risk

Part II: Principles and Guidelines

3. A Plea for a Rich Conception of Risks

4. Requirements for the Social Acceptability of Risk Generating Technological Activities

5. Clinical Equipoise and the Assessment of Acceptable Therapeutic Risk

6. Acceptable Risk to Future Generations

7. The Ethical Assessment of Unpredictable Risks in the Use of Genetically Engineered Livestock for Biomedical Research

Part III: Methodological Considerations

8. Ethics, Reasons, and Risk Analysis

9. Incommensurability: The Failure to Compare Risks

10. Welfare Judgments and Risk

Part IV: Involving the Public

11. Risk As Feeling: Some Thoughts about Affect, Reason, Risk and Rationality

12. The Relation between Cognition and Affect in Moral Judgments about Risks

13. Risk and Public Imagination: Mediated Risk Perception as Imaginative Moral Judgment

14. Trust and Criteria for Proof of Risk: The Case of Mobile Phone Technology in the Netherlands

Part V: Instruments for Democratization

15. Risk-Management through National Ethics Councils?

16. Ethical Responsibilities of Engineers in Design Processes: Risks, Regulative Frameworks and Societal Division of Labour

Part VI: Conclusion

17. Governing Technological Risks

Acronyms and Abbreviations

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