Risk, Non-Identity, and Extinction

The Monist 107 (2):146–156 (2024)
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This paper examines a recent argument in favour of strong precautionary action—possibly including working to hasten human extinction—on the basis of a decision-theoretic view that accommodates the risk-attitudes of all affected while giving more weight to the more risk-averse attitudes. First, we dispute the need to take into account other people’s attitudes towards risk at all. Second we argue that a version of the non-identity problem undermines the case for doing so in the context of future people. Lastly, we suggest that we should not work to hasten human extinction, even if significant risk aversion is warranted.


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Author Profiles

Kacper Kowalczyk
University College London
Nikhil Venkatesh
London School of Economics

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Choosing for Changing Selves.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Why We Should Reject S.Derek Parfit - 1984 - In Reasons and Persons. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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