13. Mai 2020
The basic theory for decision-making under risk – Expected Utility Theory – requires that precise probabilities and the ethical value (often called “utility”) of possible outcomes of all available options for action are known. If decision makers are in a situation of uncertainty -- in which no precise probabilities of the outcomes of the available options for action are known -- a broad variety of rules justifying a choice of an option for action has been justified meanwhile, often discussed under the name of Precautionary Principles (PP).
However, with regard to policy options addressing global environmental change, principles derived from the EUT and PP are still not applicable in some cases. There are decision situations, in which decision makers know merely possible outcomes of the available options for action and in which the ethical values of the outcomes are on a par: all options for actions can lead to catastrophic outcomes in the worst case and tremendous gains in the best. In short: there are decision situations in which the available options for action cannot be ranked on the basis of the foreknowledge about the epistemic and the ethical value of their possible outcomes.
In such situations, properties of the processes by which the particular options for actions are being realized shouldprovide reasons for a choice of an option for action, or so I have argued elsewhere (Pissarskoi 2018). There are several candidates for evaluative criteria of dynamic processes, discussed especially within the field of Global Environmental Change research: flexibility, reversibility, resilience, controllability. However, the axiology of these criteria remains unsettled so far.
The goal of my research project lies in identification and justification of evaluative criteria for processes of realization of options for action under deep uncertainty. One candidate for such a criterium is the ability to control the realization processes. I believe that controllability is the most general value of dynamic processes and that the other properties such as flexibility, reversibility, or resilience are instrumentally valuable in so far they contribute to the ability to control the process. In order to justify this hypothesis, an explication of the notion of “controllability of a process of realization of an option for action” is required.
In my talk, I shall present my current state of research on an explication of this notion. David Colligridge (1980, 1982) suggested an explication of controllability. I shall introduce it and demonstrate some of its shortcomings.Based on this critique, I shall suggest an alternative explication and empirical criteria for comparison of realization processes with regard to their controllability.
Collingridge, David (1980): Social Control of Technology . Frances Pinter Publishers, London.
Collingridge, David (1982): Critical decision making : a new theory of social choice . Frances Pinter, London.
Pissarskoi, Eugen (2018): The Controllability Precautionary Principle: Justification of a climate policy goal under uncertainty. In: Climate Justice: Economics and Philosophy , eds. Ravi Kanbur and Henry Shue, Oxford University Press, Oxford, chap. 11, pp. 188–208
Zeit: 12:15 - 13.45 Uhr
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