Does risk exist and if it does where does it live and how do we find it
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Does risk exist, and if it does, where does it live and how do we find it?. Doug Crawford-Brown Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy Director, UNC Institute for the Environment UNC-Chapel Hill and Energy and Environment Networks Cambridge, U.K.

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Does risk exist and if it does where does it live and how do we find it

Does risk exist, and if it does, where does it live and how do we find it?

Doug Crawford-Brown

Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Director, UNC Institute for the Environment

UNC-Chapel Hill

and

Energy and Environment Networks

Cambridge, U.K.





So is the risk in the molecule
So, is the risk in the molecule? do we find it?

Yes, this is toluene.



Even more refined
Even more refined: do we find it?

+


And one final refinement
And one final refinement: do we find it?

+


My first claim: do we find it?Risk involves some confluence of these locations and properties, although it EXPRESSES itself in the health of a population (e.g. incidence of disease)


But is the risk IN that confluence of places and properties (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?


Three schools of thought on risk
Three schools of thought (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?on risk

Objective

Subjective

Psychologistic


My second claim: (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?The world does not contain risk. It contains outcomes and causes. Our minds contain the risk because we are uncertain what outcome will occur. But this risk is of the psychologistic, not subjective, kind.


But risk is in response to
But risk is in response to… (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?

+


Heidegger and the lab
Heidegger and the lab (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?


My third claim: (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?While risk might ultimately be psychologistic, it must result from (i) scientific methodologies to engage the world and (ii) methodologies of rational assessment of beliefs about that world.


Searle and the chinese box
Searle and the Chinese Box (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?

Rational reflection

Scientific assessment: input output


My fourth claim: (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?For ALMOST all intents and purposes, you would never know whether the box contains Doug or Dale.


What is your best estimate of the outcome
What is your best estimate of the outcome? (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?

What is your best estimate of the risk?


Am i confusing kant s three questions
Am I confusing Kant’s three questions? (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?

What Is (the risk)?

What Ought to Be (the risk)?

How do You Know (the risk)?


My fifth claim: (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?I am not confusing risk with the perception of, or estimation of risk. I am saying that risk IS a rational perception of the world.

(Obtained from a jointly scientific and philosophical process)


Is this rational perception also a social process
Is this rational perception also a social process? (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?


One view the classical school of rationality
One view: the classical (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?school of rationality

  • Formal rules of reasoning

  • These are defined clearly

  • These are agreed upon by all participants

  • Rules are applied universally

  • All rational individuals reach the same conclusions


A second bernstein and dialogical rationality

A second: Bernstein and dialogical rationality (and where would that confluence exist), or in the mind that perceives these?

“…stresses the character of this rationality in which there is choice, deliberation, interpretation, judicious weighing and application of universal criteria, and even rational disagreement about which criteria are relevant and most important.”


So, on what should a community reflect when forming judgments about degrees of belief in different outcomes?



Desiderata of rationality
Desiderata of Rationality probablilities:

Ontology

Epistemological basis

Conceptual clarity

Logic

Methodology

Valuation

Practicality


Modes of reasoning
Modes of reasoning probablilities:

  • Direct empirical

  • Semi-empirical extrapolation

  • Empirical correlation

  • Theory-based inference

  • Existential insight

  • Pragmatic success


Intellectual Obligation probablilities:(i) the degree to which a specific mode of reasoning must be available to increase epistemic status above minimal epistemic statusand(ii) the degree to which a specific mode of reasoning must be weighted into the final analysis of epistemic status for each belief.


My sixth claim: probablilities:The psychologistic basis of risk is rooted in judgments combining classical (probabilistic) and dialogical rationality.


Some central questions on judgment
Some central questions on judgment… probablilities:

  • What is it legitimate to form a judgment about?

  • Under what conditions is it legitimate to form such a judgment?

  • What evidence do we have that such judgments are reliable, truthful, etc?

  • To what is the judgment truthful?

  • Are judgments good in and of themselves, or an approximation to something better?


My seventh claim: probablilities:Judgment is part of the ontology of risk, but it must be a structured judgment rooted in scientific observation with valid underlying reasons clearly stated and discussed.



The foundational judgments
The Foundational Judgments thought”

  • Evidence goes strongly against the claim

  • Evidence goes moderately against the claim

  • Evidence goes weakly against the claim

  • Evidence is neutral with respect to the claim

  • Evidence goes weakly for the claim

  • Evidence goes moderately for the claim

  • Evidence goes strongly for the claim


Finally risk is characterized by
Finally, risk is characterized by: thought”

  • Scientific perception of the confluence of risk agent, organism, scenario and exposure

  • A summary of competing beliefs of possible outcomes associated with this confluence

  • Epistemic judgments of each belief resulting from systematic analysis of their rational basis

  • An open dialogue between qualified individuals, concerning this systematic analysis

  • A dialogue reflecting on the seven desiderata of rationality and six categories of evidence


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