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P.D. Magnus

The scope of inductive risk

A paper based on work that I've presented a few places.

Versions available


The Argument from Inductive Risk (AIR) is taken to show that certain values are inevitably involved in making judgements or forming beliefs, but this paper poses cases in which beliefs need not reflect an agent's values. These cases are counterexamples to the AIR posed in ethical terms as a matter of personal values, but it need not be understood in those terms. The values which load a theory choice may be those of institutions or past actors. This means that the challenge of responsibly handling inductive risk is not merely an ethical issue, but is also social, political, and historical.

The first on-line draft of this paper was posted 23mar2020.