Saturday, 19 January 2013

(Now Updated with open access link) Review in Theoria of The Price of Precaution and the Ethics of Risk

Update 2013-02-17: I discovered today, that Theoria has chosen to make this review available for all, free of charge, so-called open access. To read it in full, follow the link given below, or access a pdf directly here.

My book on the moral basis of the precautionary principle that was published by Springer in 2011, The Price of Precaution and the Ethics of Risk, is very favorably reviewed over four pages in the latest issue of the renowned philosophy journal, Theoria. To read the entire review, written by Niklas Möller, you need access to reach behind the Wiley paywall (e.g. through a university library) or a subscription of your own, and in that case just click here. If you lack this sort of access, clicking the just mentioned link can still let you sample the first page of the four of the review.

Of course, besides describing the content of the book, the reviewer also launches some criticism – as should indeed be the case in any serious academic review. However, the overall assessment is very favorable, evidenced by these quotes of the sections where Möller sums up his overall evaluation:
Munthe’s book is a well-argued contribution to the PP [i.e. precautionary principle] debate, putting neglected justificatory and methodological questions at the forefront. His many discussions of alternative accounts as well as his drawing out the consequences of his own suggestion in practical cases give the reader a thorough, holistic sense of what justification of PP amounts to. /..../ Munthe’s main case, his argumentation for the requirement of precaution as a moral norm, is convincing and puts a strong pressure on too narrow alternative suggestions on how it should be perceived and justified, and he launches a plausible defence of its practical usability.
 Should you be interested in acquiring the book as hardcopy or pdf, this can be done through the Springer book webpage above or any major online book seller. If you have university library access, chances are the library has a Springer license and in that case you can access and download the e-book through that channel. If you're interested in the issue of the precautionary principle and its moral and political justification, as well as the ethics and politics of environmental and technological risk in general, you may be interested in a lengthy review article written by myself on exactly that topic, including some further ideas, considerations and contributors over and above those discussed in my book, which will be appearing the the very soon to be released International Encyclopedia of Ethics, under the heading of "precautionary principle".