Visiting Speakers

Evan Williams, Rutgers University

Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, 3:30 p.m., 607 Dale Hall Tower. Everyone is welcome!

Compensation for Risk

My talk will discuss what compensation you owe if you have wrongfully put someone else at risk of being harmed. I argue that "simply compensate for whatever harm, if any, actually occurs as a result of the wrongdoing" is unsatisfactory; instead we have to pay at least some attention to counterfactuals. Compensation for actual harms can be insufficient in cases in which an incompensible harm such as death is narrowly avoided, and it can be over-demanding in cases in which the victim is already facing a background risk. A better approach is to focus on restoring the victim's _expected_ well-being to what it would have been if the wrong had not been committed. This does, however, raise new problems, for which I sketch some possible solutions.