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Martin Smith

Abstract

Many philosophers accept that, as well as having a right that others not harm us, we also have a right that others not subject us to a risk of harm.  And yet, when we attempt to spell out precisely what this ‘right against risk imposition’ involves, we encounter a series of notorious puzzles.  Existing attempts to deal with these puzzles have tended to focus on the nature of rights – but I propose an approach that focusses instead on the nature of risk.  The key move is to distinguish two different ways in which to conceptualise the risk that a given action presents – one of which is linked to the notion of probability and the other to the notion of normalcy.   

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