This talk is part of Ethically Speaking: A UCF Interdisciplinary Series on Contemporary Moral Issues.
Ethics is usually thought of as involving no quantification — it is about discussing principles and resolving dilemmas with arguments just in words. But many ethical decisions require a degree of quantification, precise or imprecise. Just because humans have an equal ethical worth (itself not quantifiable), they sometimes need to be counted, as in taking a course of military or healthcare action that minimizes number of deaths. More subtle cases include compensation calculations, monetary debts, and healthcare allocation using quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). The talk gives an overview of where quantification is needed in ethics and how it meshes with non-quantitative considerations.
Dr. James Franklin was Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. His research interests include the philosophy of mathematics, the history of ideas (especially probability) and extreme risk theory. His books include Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia and An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics. He was awarded the 2005 Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics. He taught the world’s first course on Professional Issues and Ethics in Mathematics.
About Ethically Speaking
Ethically Speaking is a campus-wide partnership that brings internationally renowned leaders to UCF to discuss cutting-edge topics in ethics. All members of UCF and the community we serve are encouraged to attend. More information on this speaker series and upcoming talks can be found at https://ethicscenter.research.ucf.edu/speaker-series/