Can a knowledge threshold save the de minimis principle?

H. Orri Stefánsson, Björn Lundgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The de minimis principle states that some risks are so trivial that they can be ignored or treated categorically differently from non-trivial risks. Lundgren and Stefánsson criticize the de minimis principle, arguing that it either has to be applied locally or globally and that problems arise whichever application is chosen. Aven and Seif respond to Lundgren and Stefánsson’s argument and defend the de minimis principle as a “meaningful and useful perspective for handling risk in practice.” The response highlights some aspects of the argument in Lundgren and Stefánsson that needs clarification, which is what we do in this note.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O: Journal of Risk and Reliability
Issue number6
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • De minimis
  • knowledge
  • decision-making
  • framing decision
  • risk management


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