In Adrian Walsh, Säde Hormio & Duncan Purves (eds.), The Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics. Oxford: Routledge. pp. 87-102 (2017)

Authors
Kian Mintz-Woo
University College, Cork
Abstract
When probability discounting (or probability weighting), one multiplies the value of an outcome by one's subjective probability that the outcome will obtain in decision-making. The broader import of defending probability discounting is to help justify cost-benefit analyses in contexts such as climate change. This chapter defends probability discounting under risk both negatively, from arguments by Simon Caney (2008, 2009), and with a new positive argument. First, in responding to Caney, I argue that small costs and benefits need to be evaluated, and that viewing practices at the social level is too coarse-grained. Second, I argue for probability discounting using a distinction between causal responsibility and moral responsibility. Moral responsibility can be cashed out in terms of blameworthiness and praiseworthiness, while causal responsibility obtains in full for any effect which is part of a causal chain linked to one's act. With this distinction in hand, unlike causal responsibility, moral responsibility can be seen as coming in degrees. My argument is, given that we can limit our deliberation and consideration to that which we are morally responsible for and that our moral responsibility for outcomes is limited by our subjective probabilities, our subjective probabilities can ground probability discounting.
Keywords Climate Change  Applied Ethics  Responsibility  Discounting  Simon Caney  Probability  Rationality  Cost-Benefit Analysis  human rights
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What Do Climate Change Winners Owe, and to Whom?Kian Mintz-Woo & Justin Leroux - 2021 - Economics and Philosophy 37 (3):462-483.
The Irrelevance of the Risk-Uncertainty Distinction.Dominic Roser - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (5):1387-1407.

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