Fritz Allhoff
Studies in Ethics, Law, and Society 3.2 (2009): 1-27
Publication year: 2009

Fritz Allhoff, “Risk, Precaution, and Emerging Technologies”, Studies in Ethics, Law, and Society 3.2 (2009): 1-27. Reprinted in Bert Gordijn and Anthony Mark Cutter (eds.), In Pursuit of Nanoethics (Dordrect: Springer, 2014), pp. 107-130.

Abstract: This paper explores a framework for thinking about risks inherent in emerging technologies; given uncertainty about the magnitude—or even nature of those risks, deliberation about those technologies is challenged. §1 develops a conceptual framework for risk, and §2 integrates that conception into cost-benefit analysis. Given uncertainty, we are often pushed toward precautionary approaches, and such approaches are explored in §3. These first three sections are largely literature review, and then a positive argument for how to think about the relationship between risk, precaution, and uncertainty is offered in 4.