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The Ethics of ProtocellsMoral and Social Implications of Creating Life in the Laboratory$
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Mark A. Bedau and Emily C. Parke

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012621

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012621.001.0001

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A New Virtue-Based Understanding of the Precautionary Principle

A New Virtue-Based Understanding of the Precautionary Principle

Chapter:
(p.89) 6 A New Virtue-Based Understanding of the Precautionary Principle
Source:
The Ethics of Protocells
Author(s):

Per Sandin

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262012621.003.0006

This chapter defends a new virtue-based understanding of the precautionary principle. It describes three types of precautionary principles (rules of choice, epistemic rules or principles and procedural requirements), and notes that there are problems with each version. It reports a different and new way of understanding the precautionary principle that avoids many of the problems of the standard versions. It specifically discusses the virtue approach. This chapter shows that “what a cautious agent would do” should be understood as a relational notion, for it may be objected that the preceding characterization of a cautious agent is trivial.

Keywords:   precautionary principle, rules of choice, epistemic rules, epistemic principles, procedural requirements, virtue approach

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