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Epistemology Seminar. Talk: Philip Ebert (Stirling) and Martin Smith (Edinburgh): “Varieties of Risk”
26th November 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Abstract: The notion of risk plays a central role in economics, finance, health, psychology, law and elsewhere, and is prevalent in managing challenges and resources in day-to-day life. In recent work, Duncan Pritchard (2015, 2016) has argued against the orthodox probabilistic conception of risk on which the risk of a hypothetical scenario is determined by how probable it is, and in favour of a modal conception on which the risk of a hypothetical scenario is determined by how modally close it is. We introduce three different conceptions of risk: the standard probabilistic conception, Pritchard’s modal conception, and a normalcy conception. Ultimately, we argue that the modal conception is ill-suited to the roles that a notion of risk is required to play and explore the prospects for a form of pluralism about risk, embracing both the probabilistic and the normalcy conceptions.