UCL News


Inaugural lecture: 'Risking Life and Limb'

11 May 2009


UCL Portico ucl.ac.uk/philosophy/" target="_self">UCL Philosophy
  • Professor Michael Otsuka
  • Professor Michael Otsuka (UCL Philosophy) will deliver his inaugural lecture 'Risking Life and Limb' on Thursday 14 May at 6:00 pm.

    Professor Otsuka explained: "We are constantly exposing ourselves and others to risks of great harm. We do so, for example, whenever we cross the road or drive a car.

    "When is it justifiable to expose people to risks of harm? In answering this question, it is natural to appeal to the probability that the risky activity will result in harm. The lower the chances that anyone will be harmed, the easier it is to justify the activity in question. This is known as the discounting of potential harms by their improbability.

    "I argue in this lecture that the most familiar method of discounting harms is flawed and propose an alternative approach to the justification of risky activities."

    The lecture will take place in Cruciform Building, Lecture Theatre 1. All are welcome.