We subject others and are ourselves subjected to risk all the time - risk permeates life. Despite the ubiquity of risk and its imposition, philosophers and legal scholars have devoted little of their attention to the difficult questions stimulated by the pervasiveness of risk. When we impose risk upon others, what is it that we are doing? What is risking's moral significance? What moral standards govern the imposition of risk? And how should the law respond to it? This book highlights these important but neglected questions and offers novel answers to them in a systematic way, constructing a normative framework of risk imposition that draws upon a wide range of insights from diverse sources within philosophy and legal theory.
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Imposing Risk is a major contribution to the discussion of risk imposition in moral, political, and legal philosophy, one that is certain to become a touchstone for future work in this area. Synthesizing insights from moral and legal philosophy, as well as philosophical work on the nature of probability, it both advances a novel, genuinely ecumenical approach to the question of how the risk associated with an activity ought to be characterized for purposes
of moral deliberation, and builds a compelling case for the virtues of a non-consequentialist, contractualist approach to reasoning about permissible risk imposition. * Rahul Kumar, Professor of Philosophy, Queen's University, Canada *
Imposing Risk is a real contribution to normative ethics and legal theory. With arguments that are both novel and powerful, Oberdiek addresses the many theoretical and moral issues, including neglected but central ones, bearing on the morality of exposing others to mortal risk. Whether in diffusing the seeming indeterminacy of risk, explaining why imposing risk matters morally, defending a right against being subject to risk, or in articulating a
contractualist account of permissible risking, Imposing Risk is full of clarifying insight and is sure to become a standard reference for future work on the normative dimensions of risk. * Stephen Perry, University of Pennsylvania *
John Oberdiek tackles one of the hardest problems in moral and legal philosophy a the question of when it is wrong to impose risks on others and why. With characteristic clarity, insight, and depth he defends the right that people have against having risks imposed on them in the light of more fundamental values, especially the value of autonomy. He offers his account in the context of a more comprehensive non-consequentialist moral and legal theory. Imposing
Risk is a terrific achievement. * Victor Tadros, Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory, University of Warwick *