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By Daniel Steel

Students in philosophy, legislation, economics, and different fields have broadly debated how technology, environmental precaution, and fiscal inter- ests can be balanced in pressing modern difficulties equivalent to weather swap. One debatable concentration of those discussions is the precautionary precept, in accordance with which medical uncertainty shouldn't be a reason behind hold up within the face of significant threats to the surroundings or health and wellbeing. whereas the precautionary precept has been very influential, no ordinarily authorised definition of it exists and critics cost that it really is incoherent or hopelessly imprecise. This e-book provides and defends an interpretation of the precautionary precept from the viewpoint of philosophy of technological know-how, having a look relatively at the way it connects to judgements, clinical techniques, and facts. via cautious research of diverse case stories, it indicates how this interpretation results in vital insights on medical uncertainty, intergenerational justice, and the connection among values and policy-relevant technology.

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Extra info for Philosophy and the Precautionary Principle: Science, Evidence, and Environmental Policy

Sample text

That distinction is used as a basis for the values-in-science standard, which I propose as a replacement of the rejected value-free ideal. According to the values-in-science standard, nonepistemic values should not conflict with epistemic values in the design or interpretation of scientific research that is practically feasible and ethically permissible. Chapter 8 illustrates and defends the values-in-science standard in connection with a case study of uncertainty factors. 3 for discussions of consistency in relation to (Gardiner 2006) and Hartzel-Nichols (2012).

As several authors have noted (Cranor 2001; Manson 2002; Sandin 1999; Trouwborst 2006), PP can be thought of in terms of at least three7 fundamental components: a harm condition, a knowledge condition (where the knowledge demanded may fall short of certainty), and a recommended precaution. Entries in each of these categories can admit of degrees: harms can be more or less severe; the knowledge supporting the existence of the harm and its relation to a particular activity may be more or less firm, and the precaution may be more or less strict.

There is an additional reason why MPP may appear to be trivial, namely that it does not recommend any specific remedy or precaution in response to any environmental harm. Indeed, it is not unusual for defenders of PP to dismiss MPP on the grounds that it is wimpy, extremely minimal, impotent, or not very demanding (Cranor 2001, 2004; Gardiner 2011, p. 412; McKinnon 2009; Sandin et al. 2002). But to brush aside MPP on these grounds is to misunderstand its role as a meta-principle rather than a decision rule.

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