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  • Cited by 9
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Lipsitch, Marc Evans, Nicholas G. and Cotton-Barratt, Owen 2016. Underprotection of Unpredictable Statistical Lives Compared to Predictable Ones. Risk Analysis,

    Murphy, C. Gardoni, P. and Harris, Jr., C. E. 2011. Vulnerability, Uncertainty, and Risk. p. 417.

    Murphy, Colleen Gardoni, Paolo and Harris, Charles E. 2011. Classification and Moral Evaluation of Uncertainties in Engineering Modeling. Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 17, Issue. 3, p. 553.

    Carlsen, H. Dreborg, K.H. Godman, M. Hansson, S.O. Johansson, L. and Wikman-Svahn, P. 2010. Assessing socially disruptive technological change. Technology in Society, Vol. 32, Issue. 3, p. 209.

    John, Stephen 2010. In Defence of Bad Science and Irrational Policies: an Alternative Account of the Precautionary Principle. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 13, Issue. 1, p. 3.

    Hansson, Sven Ove 2009. Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences.

    Hansson, Sven Ove 2007. Hypothetical Retrospection. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 145.

    Hansson, Sven Ove 2007. Social decisions about risk and risk-taking. Social Choice and Welfare, Vol. 29, Issue. 4, p. 649.

    Hermansson, Hélène and Hansson, Sven Ove 2007. A Three-Party Model Tool for Ethical Risk Analysis. Risk Management, Vol. 9, Issue. 3, p. 129.



  • DOI:
  • Published online: 11 July 2006

Mainstream risk analysis deviates in at least two important respects from the rationality ideal of mainstream economics. First, expected utility maximization is not applied in a consistent way. It is applied to endodoxastic uncertainty, i.e. the uncertainty (or risk) expressed in a risk assessment, but in many cases not to metadoxastic uncertainty, i.e. uncertainty about which of several competing assessments is correct. Instead, a common approach to metadoxastic uncertainty is to only take the most plausible assessment into account. This will typically lead to risk-prone deviations from risk-neutrality. Secondly, risks and benefits for different persons are added to form a total value of risk. Such calculations are used to support the view that one should accept being exposed to a risk if it brings greater benefits for others. This is in stark contrast to modern Paretian welfare economics, that refrains from interindividual comparisons and does not require people to accept a disadvantage because it brings a larger advantage for others.

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Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
  • URL: /core/journals/economics-and-philosophy
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