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Defending the Conception of “Objective Risk”


Helene Hermansson, Division of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and the History of Technology, Teknikringen 78B, Stockholm, Sweden 100 44;


The notion of “objective risk” is frequently discussed within the risk literature. While some argue that risk analysis measures objective risk, others claim that there are no real, objective risks—only subjective descriptions of them. “Objectivity” in these discussions often presupposes value-free, dispassionate, and impartial analysis. Feminist epistemology offers a different interpretation of “objectivity” that is more context-bound. It is argued that even though every risk can be described in several different ways, and does involve value judgments and emotions, the objectivity ideal should not be abandoned.