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Article: Utilitarianism and prioritarianism I

TitleUtilitarianism and prioritarianism I
Authors
Issue Date2006
PublisherCambridge University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=EAP
Citation
Economics and Philosophy, 2006, v. 22 n. 3, p. 335-363 How to Cite?
AbstractUtilitarianism and prioritarianism make a strong assumption about measures of how good lotteries over histories are for individuals, or for short, individual goodness measures. Given some idealizing assumptions about interpersonal and intrapersonal comparisons, they presuppose that any individual goodness measure can be transformed into any other individual goodness measure by a positive affine transformation. But it is far from obvious that the presupposition is correct, so both theories face the threat of presupposition failure. The usual response to this problem starts by assuming that what implicitly determines the set of individual goodness measures is independent of our discourse about utilitarianism and prioritarianism. I suggest reversing this response. What determines the set of individual goodness measures just is the body of platitudes we accept about utilitarianism and prioritarianism. This approach vindicates the utilitarian and prioritarian presupposition. As a corollary, it shows that individual goodness measures are expectational, and provides an answer to an argument due to Broome that for different reasons to do with measurement, prioritarianism is more or less meaningless.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/176499
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.971
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.624
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorMcCarthy, D-
dc.date.accessioned2012-11-27T07:15:53Z-
dc.date.available2012-11-27T07:15:53Z-
dc.date.issued2006-
dc.identifier.citationEconomics and Philosophy, 2006, v. 22 n. 3, p. 335-363-
dc.identifier.issn0266-2671-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/176499-
dc.description.abstractUtilitarianism and prioritarianism make a strong assumption about measures of how good lotteries over histories are for individuals, or for short, individual goodness measures. Given some idealizing assumptions about interpersonal and intrapersonal comparisons, they presuppose that any individual goodness measure can be transformed into any other individual goodness measure by a positive affine transformation. But it is far from obvious that the presupposition is correct, so both theories face the threat of presupposition failure. The usual response to this problem starts by assuming that what implicitly determines the set of individual goodness measures is independent of our discourse about utilitarianism and prioritarianism. I suggest reversing this response. What determines the set of individual goodness measures just is the body of platitudes we accept about utilitarianism and prioritarianism. This approach vindicates the utilitarian and prioritarian presupposition. As a corollary, it shows that individual goodness measures are expectational, and provides an answer to an argument due to Broome that for different reasons to do with measurement, prioritarianism is more or less meaningless.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherCambridge University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=EAP-
dc.relation.ispartofEconomics and Philosophy-
dc.rightsEconomics and Philosophy. Copyright © Cambridge University Press.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleUtilitarianism and prioritarianism Ien_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailMcCarthy, D: mccarthy@hku.hk-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1017/S0266267106001015-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-33845407652-
dc.identifier.volume22-
dc.identifier.issue3-
dc.identifier.spage335-
dc.identifier.epage363-
dc.identifier.eissn1474-0028-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000243481500002-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-

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