What’s wrong with risk?

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):76-85 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Imposing pure risks—risks that do not materialise into harm—is sometimes wrong. The Harm Account explains this wrongness by claiming that pure risks are harms. By contrast, The Autonomy Account claims that pure risks impede autonomy. We develop two objections to these influential accounts. The Separation Objection proceeds from the observation that, if it is wrong to v then it is sometimes wrong to risk v‐ing. The intuitive plausibility of this claim does not depend on any account of the facts that ground moral wrongness. This suggests a close relationship between the factors that make an act wrong and the factors that make risking that act wrong, which both accounts fail to recognise. The Determinism Objection holds that both accounts fail to explain the wrongness of pure risks in a deterministic world. We then develop an alternative—The Buck‐Passing Account—that withstands both objections.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,991

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On the Harm of Imposing Risk of Harm.Kritika Maheshwari - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (4):965-980.
A Unificationist Approach to Wrongful Pure Risking.Kritika Maheshwari - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 68.
When the Risk of Harm Harms.Adriana Placani - 2017 - Law and Philosophy 36 (1):77-100.
Harmless Discrimination.Adam Slavny & Tom Parr - 2015 - Legal Theory 21 (2):100-114.
The Wrongness of Killing.Rainer Ebert - 2016 - Dissertation, Rice University
The Risks of Evolutionary Explanation.H. Clark Barrett - 2023 - In Agathe du Crest, Martina Valković, André Ariew, Hugh Desmond, Philippe Huneman & Thomas A. C. Reydon (eds.), Evolutionary Thinking Across Disciplines: Problems and Perspectives in Generalized Darwinism. Springer Verlag. pp. 29752211-31555011.
Wrongness and reasons.Ulrike Heuer - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):137 - 152.


Added to PP

72 (#233,796)

6 months
22 (#129,038)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Tom Parr
University of Essex

Citations of this work

Can a risk of harm itself be a harm?Thomas Rowe - 2022 - Analysis 81 (4):694-701.
Dominating Risk Impositions.Kritika Maheshwari & Sven Nyholm - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (4):613-637.
A Unificationist Approach to Wrongful Pure Risking.Kritika Maheshwari - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 68.

Add more citations

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.

View all 14 references / Add more references