Vol. 44 No. 1 (2024): Topographies of Risk. Theoretical Approaches

Risk and Safeguard: How Moral Theory Deals With Uncertainty

Simone Grigoletto
University of Padova

Published 2024-06-12


  • normative ethics,
  • principle of double effect,
  • Second Scholasticism,
  • Aristotle,
  • Thomas Aquinas

How to Cite

Risk and Safeguard: How Moral Theory Deals With Uncertainty. (2024). Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 44(1). https://doi.org/10.4454/nx209e68


In this essay, I reflect on the concepts of "risk" and "safeguard" within the moral philosophical debate, defining "risk" as the possibility of committing a morally negative act and "safeguard" as a possible theoretical support in the prevention of such risk. Through a series of philosophically relevant questions, the essay explores the role of normative theory in the face of risk, examining practical decisions under conditions of uncertainty and their moral significance. Ancient thought, in particular that of Aristotle, is analysed to better understand these dynamics. Subsequently, the essay focuses on medieval thought, with particular attention to the work of Thomas Aquinas and the development of the principle of double effect (PDE) in Second Scholasticism.