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Philosophy of Risk: An evaluative account of risk and safety and the methodological consequences for risk research (Phil-RISK)
Start date: 01 Jul 2009, End date: 30 Jun 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The proposed project intends to use current developments in analytic philosophy to investigate philosophical issues of risk and safety. The main objectives of the project are (i) to develop a philosophical account of risk and safety, and (ii) to investigate the methodological consequences of the account and to construct a framework for guideline development in risk analysis. My host and supervisor will be Simon Blackburn, Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University, who is one of the world’s foremost experts of the fundamental issues in current analytic philosophy of interest for the project. Risk research is a rapidly growing discipline with contributors from many areas of the natural and social sciences. This reflects a growing concern about risks in society. Both professional and non-professional awareness of risks is increasing, and much effort is put into risk assessment, risk managing and risk communication. In the European Community, specifically, increased effort is being paid to issues around risk: examples include the FP7 initiative of Risk assessment and patient safety, and the implementation of the chemical REACH regulation programme, arguably the most complex legislation in the Union's history. However, the basic concepts of risk and safety are under-theorised. Reaching a better fundamental understanding of these concepts is important not only for professional risk analysts but for risk acceptance among the public. The current project aims to provide a conceptual framework for approaching the assessment and management of risk, adding to the vibrant research around risk.
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