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In Defense of the Precautionary Principle [Commentary]

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1 Author(s)
Weckert, J. ; Centre for Appl. Philos. & Public Ethics, Charles Sturt Univ., Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia

In this article the precautionary principle is taken to be both a normative ideal and a pragmatic guide. Despite the cognitive limitations of humans (there will always be some doubt about whether we have acted in the best way to reduce or eliminate some future harm), in certain cases it is a principle that ought, morally, to be applied. More importantly however, it is also a pragmatic guide, and despite commonly raised difficulties, it is a reasonable and coherent principle and a useful guide to action if formulated and applied carefully.

Published in:

Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 4 )