Essays on the Morality of Risk Impositions

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    Abstract

    This thesis is a collection of five self-standing articles that engage with normative and applied
    questions surrounding the morality of risk impositions. The first part of the thesis considers
    the question of what makes imposing pure risks on others, namely, risks that don’t
    materialize sometimes morally wrong. Suppose that you are taking a leisurely walk in the park
    when an inconsiderate speeding motorist drives right past you. In doing so, he imposes upon
    you a grave risk of harm. Luckily for you, the risk fails to materialize. Yet, there is a strong
    intuition that in subjecting you to risk, he acts wrongly, and also wrongs you in particular.
    Chapter 1 argues that imposing pure risks on others, like in the case of the speeding motorist,
    is sometimes wrong because it involves relating to others in a dominating, or a dominationlike way. Chapter 2 critiques an influential view according to which, imposing pure risks is
    sometimes wrong when and because risk itself is contingently or constitutively harmful.
    Chapter 3 explores the explanatory relationship between the morality of imposing pure risks
    and that of non-risky cases. The second part of the thesis deals in two distinct questions
    within applied risk ethics, and in particular, pertinent global catastrophic risks facing
    humanity. Chapter 4 dives into the ethics of extinction risk and asks whether permanent loss
    of possible people is a relevant wrong-making feature of failing to prevent the risk of our
    extinction materializing. Chapter 5 contributes to recent discussions in the literature on ethics
    of climate change risks. In particular, it discusses and rejects a prominent objection against
    offsetting our risky emissions, namely, that by offsetting, we fail to fulfil our duties not to
    harm or risking harming particular individuals.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Streumer, Bart, Supervisor
    • Schmidt, Andreas, Supervisor
    • Nyholm, S., Co-supervisor, External person
    Award date9-Feb-2023
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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