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CEPPA Talk – Lara Buchak (Princeton University)

January 28 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

TITLE: RISK AND AMBIGUITY IN ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING

ABSTRACT: Some of my choices are primarily guided by the interests of others: for example, which charities to give to or which political policies to vote for. Other of my choices have at least a significant component where I must take others’ interests into account, though perhaps I can weigh them against my own interests: for example, which environment-protecting measures to adopt in my personal life. This talk is about how to evaluate the other-affecting component of my decisions. In cases in which all of the empirical facts are known, it may be easy to say which decision is best for another person. But in cases of risk—we don’t know how the world will turn out—or ambiguity—we don’t even know the probability of the world turning out in various ways—things are less simple. This is particularly the case given the wide range of attitudes towards risk and towards ambiguity that a person could rationally take. After laying out a framework for thinking about these choices, I will argue for some principles that should govern them.