Just a little heads-up that a few days ago I submitted a new article for a coming special issue on the ethics of risk, and has made the "preprint" (my msubmitted manuscript before peer review and editing) available for free reading and download. The article critically assesses the notion of basing an ethics of risk on the core assumption of "defeasible" basic individual moral rights against being exposed to risk by others, and the abstract runs like this:
This article critically assesses recent proposals that an ethics of risk developed independently of standard "factualistic" ethical theory should be based on the assumption of a basic moral right of individuals against being exposed to risks. I argue that core elements that have to be present if the notion of a moral right is to uphold the classic Rawlsian requirement of "taking seriously the distinction between persons" and of preserving the notion of waiving rights means that an ethics of risk based on this axiom will fail to address its most paramount issues. This, in turn, is due to the nature of the most ethically important risks to be collectively produced, and the subsequent consequence that an ethics of risk needs to be able to acknowledge the moral importance of security against risks as a public good. The article ends by charting three broad theoretical strategies that an ethics of risk may take to face up to this challenge, and discuss the place for rights within these respective theoretical landscapes with mostly skeptical results.The article itself can be accessed here and here.