I evaluate two contractualist approaches to the ethics of risk: mutual constraint and the probabilistic, ex ante approach. After explaining how these approaches address problems in earlier interpretations of contractualism, I object that they fail to respond to diverse risk preferences in populations. Some people could reasonably reject the risk thresholds associated with these approaches. A strategy for addressing this objection is considering individual risk preferences, similar to those Buchak discusses concerning expected-utility approaches to risk. I defend the risk-preferences-adjusted (RISPREAD) contractualist approach, which calculates a population's average risk preference and permits risk thresholds below that preference, only.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- risk-weighted expected utility (REU) theory