Skip to main content

Determining overall risk

Buy Article:

$47.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

The risk journal literature lacks a clear and simple account of the conceptual issues involved in determining the overall risk of an action, and in explaining how risk is additive. This article attempts to bring a measure of clarity to these issues in as basic and non‐technical a way as possible. First of all, the view that risk is ‘expected harm' is explained. The view that risk is a quantitative concept is then defended. The distinction between the risk run by doing action A in respect of possible outcome x , and the overall risk run by doing action A in general is explained, as is the position that the overall risk of A is determined by summing the risks of each possible harm that A could give rise to. The article then explains how risks can be summed over time, as long as the probabilities involved are determined according to probability theory. Finally, the article explains that in a doing a risk‐benefit analysis of A , positive aspects of a possible outcome x , where x is harmful on balance, must be incorporated into x 's level of harm rather than incorporated into the benefit side of the risk‐benefit analysis of A .
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: expected utility; harm; probability; risk; risk analysis; risk‐benefit analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy and Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

Publication date: 2005-10-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more