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Ethical Aspects of Risk (14-16 June, 2006)

Ethical Aspects of Risk, 14-16 June 2006 Philosophy Department, Delft University of Technology REGISTRATION IS STILL POSSIBLE!

Keynote speakers:

Ruth Chadwick University of Lancaster

Carl Cranor University of California Riverside

Douglas MacLean University of North Carolina

Paul Slovic Decision Research, Oregon

Technology has advanced human well being in a myriad of respects, such as energy, communication and abilities to travel. Still, every technology also has negative side-effects, such as risks from accidents and pollution. A standard way to judge the acceptability of a specific technology is cost-benefit analysis. However, next to the balance between the benefits and risks of a technology the following considerations seem to be important: the distribution of costs and benefits, whether a risk is voluntarily taken, whether there are available alternatives etc. How to judge whether a risk is acceptable is a pressing ethical question that deserves thorough investigation. There is a vast amount of sociological and psychological research on acceptable risks, but surprisingly, there is only very little research from moral philosophy on risks. This conference aims to fill this gap by bringing together moral philosophers, sociologists, psychologists and engineers to reflect on the ethical issues concerning 'acceptable risk'.

The following questions will be the focus of the conference:

  • What are morally legitimate considerations in judging the acceptability of risks? Is cost-benefit analysis the best way or do we need additional considerations?
  • What role should emotions play in judging the acceptability of risks? Are they irrational and distorting or are they a necessary precondition for practically rational judgments?
  • What role should the public play in judging the acceptability of risks (e.g. informed consent procedures analogous to medical ethics)?
  • Is the precautionary principle a fruitful tool in dealing with risks?

Visit the conference website at

For inquiries, contact the organization committee through


Sabine Roeser and Lotte Asveld;

conference management: Henneke Piekhaar ----- 2628 BX Delft The Netherlands T: +31-15-2788779 F: +31-15-2786233 E:

Lost and Philosophy

Lost and Philosophy Call for Abstracts

Sharon M. Kaye, Editor ( William Irwin, General Editor ( The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

To propose ideas for future volumes in the Blackwell series please contact William Irwin, <>.

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

Is "John Locke" John Locke?; Socrates and Sawyer on egoism; Hurley, Descartes, and Skepticism; Kate, Kant, and the value of good will; Would Aristotle see Jack as a man of virtue?; Prisoners' dilemma strategies among the islanders; Nietzsche, survival, and salvation; Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the noble savage; Jean-Paul Sartre's Other and The Others; Dharma, free will, and fate; Hobbes and the state of nature; The metaphysics of tropical polar bears; The ethics of deception, torture, incest, drug use, and experimentation on human subjects; The Lost women and feminism; Flashback selves: continuity or reinvention?; Foucault, power, and insanity; Aquinas and Rose on faith and reason; Lost numerology; Bootstrapping society: communitarianism vs. liberalism.Contributor guidelines: 1. Abstract of paper (100-500 words).

2. CV or resume for each author and co-author.

3. Submission deadline for abstracts: July 10, 2006

4. Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers: October 10, 2006

5. Submission deadline for final papers: February 1, 2007.

6. Submissions should be sent by e-mail, with or without Word attachment to: Sharon Kaye, Associate Professor, John Carroll University (