Moral Uncertainty Over Policy Evaluation

  • Kian Mintz-Woo Princeton University
Keywords: climate ethics, cost-benefit analysis, expert elicitation, intertemporal decision-making, social discount rate, moral expertise


When performing intertemporal cost-benefit analyses of policies, both in terms of climate change and other long-term problems, the discounting problem becomes critical. The question is how to weight intertemporal costs and benefits to generate present value equivalents. This thesis argues that those best placed to answer the discounting problem are domain experts, not moral philosophers or the public at large. It does this by arguing that the discounting problem is a special case of an interesting class of problems, those which are both what I call morally complex and quantitative.

Author Biography

Kian Mintz-Woo, Princeton University

Kian Mintz-Woo obtained his PhD from the Philosophy department in conjunction with the Doctoral Programme in Climate Change of the University of Graz, Austria. He was supervised by Lukas Meyer and co-supervised by Karl Steininger; his external examiner was Stephen Gardiner. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values and was recently a Young Scientist at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

How to Cite
Mintz-Woo, K. (2018). Moral Uncertainty Over Policy Evaluation. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 11(2), 291-294.