Safety is an inherently inconsistent concept
2012 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, Vol. 50, no 7, 1522-1527 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Some basic principles for philosophical definition work are introduced and then applied to safety and related concepts. Definitions are provided first for comparative safety concepts such as " safer than" and then for the monadic " safe" . It is shown that " safe" is an inherently inconsistent concept, i.e. it cannot be restored to consistency without giving up what we perceive as some of its central elements. The reason for this is that both absolute and relative conceptions of safety are entrenched in common usage of the term. In order to avoid the inconsistency a strategy of terminological ramification is proposed: We should distinguish between the two concepts " reasonably safe" and " absolutely safe" . Any usage of " safe" or " safety" . simpliciter should be seen as an abbreviated reference to one of these two closely related, remarkably confusable, but still unmergable concepts.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 50, no 7, 1522-1527 p.
Conceptual analysis, Definition, Inconsistency, Inherently inconsistent concept, Safe, Safety, Terminology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-95730DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2012.03.003ISI: 000305265500011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84860875646OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-95730DiVA: diva2:529042
QC 201205292012-05-292012-05-292012-07-16Bibliographically approved