Moral priorities under risk

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):793-811 (2018)
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Abstract

Many moral theories are committed to the idea that some kinds of moral considerations should be respected, whatever the cost to ‘lesser’ types of considerations. A person's life, for instance, should not be sacrificed for the trivial pleasures of others, no matter how many would benefit. However, according to the decision-theoretic critique of lexical priority theories, accepting lexical priorities inevitably leads us to make unacceptable decisions in risky situations. It seems that to operate in a risky world, we must reject lexical priorities altogether. This paper argues that lexical priority theories can, in fact, offer satisfactory guidance in risky situations. It does so by equipping lexical priority theories with overlooked resources from decision theory.

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Chad Lee-Stronach
Stanford University

Citations of this work

Limited Aggregation and Risk.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (2):117-159.
Decision theory and de minimis risk.Martin Smith - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
Headaches for epistemologists.Brian Talbot - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):408-433.
Morality, Uncertainty.Chad Lee-Stronach - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):334-358.

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