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  1. Rolf Aaberge (2011). Empirical Rules of Thumb for Choice Under Uncertainty. Theory and Decision 71 (3):431-438.
    A substantial body of empirical evidence shows that individuals overweight extreme events and act in conflict with the expected utility theory. These findings were the primary motivation behind the development of a rank-dependent utility theory for choice under uncertainty. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that some simple empirical rules of thumb for choice under uncertainty are consistent with the rank-dependent utility theory.
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  2. Matthew D. Adler (2011). Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis. Oxford University Press.
    This book addresses a range of relevant theoretical issues, including the possibility of an interpersonally comparable measure of well-being, or “utility” metric; the moral value of equality, and how that bears on the form of the social welfare function; social choice under uncertainty; and the possibility of integrating considerations of individual choice and responsibility into the social-welfare-function framework. This book also deals with issues of implementation, and explores how survey data and other sources of evidence might be used to calibrate (...)
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  3. A. Ahmed (2013). Causal Decision Theory: A Counterexample. Philosophical Review 122 (2):289-306.
    The essay presents a novel counterexample to Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Its interest is that it generates a case in which CDT violates the very principles that motivated it in the first place. The essay argues that the objection applies to all extant formulations of CDT and that the only way out for that theory is a modification of it that entails incompatibilism. The essay invites the reader to find this consequence of CDT a reason to reject it.
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  4. Horacio Arló-Costa (2005). Models of Preference Reversals and Personal Rules: Do They Require Maximizing a Utility Function with a Specific Structure? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):650-651.
    One of the reasons for adopting hyperbolic discounting is to explain preference reversals. Another is that this value structure suggests an elegant theory of the will. I examine the capacity of the theory to solve Newcomb's problem. In addition, I compare Ainslie's account with other procedural theories of choice that seem at least equally capable of accommodating reversals of preference.
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  5. Gustaf Arrhenius & Wlodek Rabinowicz (2005). Value and Unacceptable Risk. Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):177-197.
    Consider a transitive value ordering of outcomes and lotteries on outcomes, which satisfies substitutivity of equivalents and obeys “continuity for easy cases,” i.e., allows compensating risks of small losses by chances of small improvements. Temkin (2001) has argued that such an ordering must also – rather counter-intuitively – allow chances of small improvements to compensate risks of huge losses. In this paper, we show that Temkin's argument is flawed but that a better proof is possible. However, it is more difficult (...)
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  6. Judy Attfield (ed.) (1999). Utility Reassessed: The Role of Ethics in the Practice of Design. Distributed Exclusively in the Usa by St. Martin's Press.
    This sparkling collection of essays both defines and reassesses the concept of Utility. Using it as a touchstone for the consideration of the place of ethics in the recent history of design, the collection offers a way into the issues which concern design decision-makers today. It offers previously unpublished research into diverse topics such as the investigation into the hitherto undiscovered designs for a utility vehicle, and it reveals a fresh perspective on the philosophy behind the concept of Utility as (...)
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  7. John D. Baldari, Arguments Against the Free Use of Beasts as Sexual Objects.
    In this paper, I intend to deny the morality and instrumentality of the behavior known as bestiality, or the use of non-human animals for sexual gratification by human beings. While to most modern peoples, this hardly even seems like it should be in question, it should be the nature of the human mind to occasionally question long-standing traditional moray in the hopes of finding solutions to problems and the disbanding of superstition. It has been proposed that the moral question, and (...)
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  8. Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (2010). Welfarist Evaluations of Decision Rules Under Interstate Utility Dependencies. Social Choice and Welfare 34 (2):315-344.
    We provide welfarist evaluations of decision rules for federations of states and consider models, under which the interests of people from different states are stochastically dependent. We concentrate on two welfarist standards; they require that the expected utility for the federation be maximized or that the expected utilities for people from different states be equal. We discuss an analytic result that characterizes the decision rule with maximum expected utility, set up a class of models that display interstate dependencies and run (...)
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  9. Lars Bergström (1982). Interpersonal Utility Comparisons. Grazer Philosophische Studien 16:283-312.
    Utilitarianism, as well as many other political and moral doctrines, presupposes that the problem of interpersonal utility comparisons can be solved. Otto Neurath gave a comparatively early (1912) and explicit statement of this problem, and he suggested that it cannot be solved. This may still be the dominant view. It is argued that recent attempts to solve the problem (by e.g. Schick, Rescher, Harsanyi, Brandt, Jeffrey, Arrow, and Hare) are unsatisfactory, but that the oldest suggestion - i.e. the method of (...)
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  10. Charles Blackorby, Walter Bossert & David Donaldson (2003). The Axiomatic Approach to Population Ethics. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (3):342-381.
    This article examines several families of population principles in the light of a set of axioms. In addition to the critical-level utilitarian, number-sensitive critical-level utilitarian, and number-dampened utilitarian families and their generalized counterparts, we consider the restricted number-dampened family and introduce two new ones: the restricted critical-level and restricted number-dependent critical-level families. Subsets of the restricted families have non-negative critical levels, avoid the `repugnant conclusion' and satisfy the axiom priority for lives worth living, but violate an important independence condition.
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  11. Ethan D. Bolker (1967). A Simultaneous Axiomatization of Utility and Subjective Probability. Philosophy of Science 34 (4):333-340.
    This paper contributes to the mathematical foundations of the model for utility theory developed by Richard Jeffrey in The Logic of Decision [5]. In it I discuss the relationship of Jeffrey's to classical models, state and interpret an existence theorem for numerical utilities and subjective probabilities and restate a theorem on their uniqueness.
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  12. Miro Brada, Maximization of Originality.
    The classic utility concept in economics, can't explain destructive or seemingly irrational behaviour. I introduce the principle of maximization of originality, which unites any kind of motivation. Maximization of richness / leisure according to budget (=classic utility), also maximizes originality,as the richer I am the fewer people are equally rich (the richest person is only one). Motivation to stand out can be however achieved also by doing an extreme sport, striptease, having big tattoo, etc. This enables to relate any human (...)
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  13. Timothy J. Brennan (1993). The Futility of Multiple Utility. Economics and Philosophy 9 (01):155-.
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  14. John Broome (1991). Weighing Goods: Equality, Uncertainty and Time. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This study uses techniques from economics to illuminate fundamental questions in ethics, particularly in the foundations of utilitarianism. Topics considered include the nature of teleological ethics, the foundations of decision theory, the value of equality and the moral significance of a person's continuing identity through time.
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  15. Campbell Brown (2005). Matters of Priority. Dissertation, Australian National University
  16. Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Decision Theory. In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan Hajek (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press
  17. Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Risk and Tradeoffs. Erkenntnis:1-27.
    The orthodox theory of instrumental rationality, expected utility (EU) theory, severely restricts the way in which risk-considerations can figure into a rational individual's preferences. It is argued here that this is because EU theory neglects an important component of instrumental rationality. This paper presents a more general theory of decision-making, risk-weighted expected utility (REU) theory, of which expected utility maximization is a special case. According to REU theory, the weight that each outcome gets in decision-making is not the subjective probability (...)
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  18. David E. Buschena & David Zilberman (1999). Testing the Effects of Similarity on Risky Choice: Implications for Violations of Expected Utility. Theory and Decision 46 (3):253-280.
    Our aim in this paper was to establish an empirical evaluation for similarity effects modeled by Rubinstein; Azipurua et al.; Leland; and Sileo. These tests are conducted through a sensitivity analysis of two well-known examples of expected utility (EU) independence violations. We found that subjective similarity reported by respondents was explained very well by objective measures suggested in the similarity literature. The empirical results of this analysis also show that: (1) the likelihood of selection for the riskier choice increases as (...)
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  19. Juan C. Candeal, Juan R. de Miguel & Esteban Induráin (2002). Expected Utility From Additive Utility on Semigroups. Theory and Decision 53 (1):87-94.
    In the present paper we study the framework of additive utility theory, obtaining new results derived from a concurrence of algebraic and topological techniques. Such techniques lean on the concept of a connected topological totally ordered semigroup. We achieve a general result concerning the existence of continuous and additive utility functions on completely preordered sets endowed with a binary operation ``+'', not necessarily being commutative or associative. In the final part of the paper we get some applications to expected utility (...)
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  20. Stephen A. Clark (2000). Revealed Preference and Expected Utility. Theory and Decision 49 (2):159-174.
    This essay gives necessary and sufficient conditions for recovering expected utility from choice behavior in several popular models of uncertainty. In particular, these techniques handle a finite state model; a model for which the choice space consists of probability densities and the expected utility representation requires bounded, measurable utility; and a model for which the choice space consists of Borel probability measures and the expected utility representation requires bounded, continuous utility. The key result is the identification of the continuity condition (...)
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  21. Wesley Cooper (2008). Nozick, Ramsey, and Symbolic Utility. Utilitas 20 (3):301-322.
    I explore a connection between Robert Nozick's account of decision value/symbolic utility in The Nature of Rationality and F. P. Ramsey's discussion of ethically neutral propositions in his 1926 essay , a discussion that Brian Skyrms in Choice and Chance credits with disclosing deeper foundations for expected utility than the celebrated Theory of Games and Economic Behavior of von Neumann and Morgenstern. Ramsey's recognition of ethically non-neutral propositions is essential to his foundational work, and the similarity of these propositions to (...)
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  22. Wesley Cooper (2002). Parfit, Heroic Death, and Symbolic Utility. Journal of Social Philosophy 33 (2):221–239.
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  23. R. Dacey (2003). The s-Shaped Utility Function. Synthese 135 (2):243 - 272.
    The results generated by experimentalists in psychology and economics haveled to numerous advances in the study of human decision making under risk.Camerer (1995) and Rabin (1998) provide excellent reviews of the relevantliterature. These results clearly display the gap between normative theoriesof ideal behavior and descriptive theories of observed behavior. The mostprominent result is loss aversion – the observation that a loss is given greatervalue than a gain of an equal size – and the resulting S-shaped utility function.Rabin puts the key (...)
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  24. Annette Dufner (2014). Contrasting Mill and Sidgwick. A Development Analysis of the Value Theory of Classical Utilitarianism. Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 39 (2):173-193.
    This paper points out a number of long-standing objections to Mill’s theory of the good and shows how exactly Sidgwick’s more detailed approach can avoid these pitfalls. In particular, critics have always insisted that (i) Mill’s "proof" of utilitarianism represents a naturalistic fallacy, and that (ii) his qualitative hedonism is inconsistent. Sidgwick’s "ideal element" of the good allows him to avoid these charges, and sheds new light on the assumption that the 'hedonism' of classical utilitarianism is a purely naturalistic concept. (...)
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  25. Amitai Etzioni (1986). The Case for a Multiple-Utility Conception. Economics and Philosophy 2 (02):159-.
    In recent decades, neoclassical economists have made heroic efforts to accommodate within the confines of the concept of rational utility maximization the fact that individual behavior is significantly affected by moral considerations. This article argues the merits of using an alternative approach: recognizing that individuals pursue at least two irreducible sources of value or “utility”, pleasure and morality. The possibility that some additional utilities may have to be recognized is explored. This raises the concern that conceptual anarchy will break out, (...)
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  26. Fred Feldman (2006). Actual Utility, the Objection From Impracticality, and the Move to Expected Utility. Philosophical Studies 129 (1):49 - 79.
    Utilitarians are attracted to the idea that an act is morally right iff it leads to the best outcome. But critics have pointed out that in many cases we cannot determine which of our alternatives in fact would lead to the best outcome. So we can't use the classic principle to determine what we should do. It's not "practical"; it's not "action-guiding". Some take this to be a serious objection to utilitarianism, since they think a moral theory ought to be (...)
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  27. Peter C. Fishburn (1970). Utility Theory with Inexact Preferences and Degrees of Preference. Synthese 21 (2):204 - 221.
    a–b* c–d is taken to mean that your degree of preference for a over b is less than your degree of preference for c over d. Various properties of the strength-of-preference comparison relation * are examined along with properties of simple preferences defined from *. The investigation recognizes an individual's limited ability to make precise judgments. Several utility theorems relating a–b * c–d to u(a)–u(b) are included.
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  28. Peter Fishburn & Ward Edwards (1997). Discount-Neutral Utility Models for Denumerable Time Streams. Theory and Decision 43 (2):139-166.
    This paper formulates and axiomatizes utility models for denumerable time streams that make no commitment in regard to discounting future outcomes. The models address decision under certainty and decision under risk. Independence assumptions in both contexts lead to additive or multiplicative utilities over time periods that allow unambiguous comparisons of the relative importance of different periods. The models accommodate all patterns of future valuation. This discount-neutral feature is attained by restricting preference comparisons to outcome streams or probability distributions on outcome (...)
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  29. Branden Fitelson & Lara Buchak, Separability Assumptions in Scoring-Rule-Based Arguments for Probabilism.
    - In decision theory, an agent is deciding how to value a gamble that results in different outcomes in different states. Each outcome gets a utility value for the agent.
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  30. Freidman, M. & L. Savage (1952). The Expected Utility Hypothesis and the Measurability of Utility. Journal of Political Economy 60:463--474.
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  31. Phan H. Giang & Prakash P. Shenoy (2000). A Qualitative Linear Utility Theory for Spohn's Theory of Epistemic Beliefs. In C. Boutilier & M. Goldszmidt (eds.), Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence 16. Morgan Kaufmann
    In this paper, we formulate a qualitative “linear” utility theory for lotteries in which uncertainty is expressed qualitatively using a Spohnian disbelief function. We argue that a rational decision maker facing an uncertain decision problem in which the uncertainty is expressed qualitatively should behave so as to maximize “qualitative expected utility.” Our axiomatization of the qualitative utility is similar to the axiomatization developed by von Neumann and Morgenstern for probabilistic lotteries. We compare our results with other recent results in qualitative (...)
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  32. Robin Giles (1992). A Generalization of the Theory of Subjective Probability and Expected Utility. Synthese 90 (2):301 - 343.
    A generalization of the usual approach to the expected utility theory is given, with the aim of representing the state of belief of an agent who may decline on grounds of ignorance to express a preference between a given pair of acts and would, therefore, be considered irrational from a Bayesian point of view. Taking state, act, and outcome as primitive concepts, a utility function on the outcomes is constructed in the usual way. Each act is represented by a utility-valued (...)
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  33. Gary Goh, We Are Optimizers: Re-Opening the Case for Rational Genuine Satisficing.
    This paper critically reviews the arguments supporting rational genuine satisficing. The deconstructive effort unearths inherent problems with the position in both static and dynamic contexts. Many of these arguments build on Herbert Simon’s canonical arguments surrounding incommensurability and demandingness problems. Optimizing is re-constructed using the principles of instrumental satisficing to answer these charges. The resulting conception is both obviously undemanding and a recognizable response to focused decision making.
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  34. A. Goldman (1996). Simulation and Interpersonal Utility. In L. May, Michael Friedman & A. Clark (eds.), Ethics. MIT Press 709-726.
  35. Hilary Greaves (2015). Antiprioritarianism. Utilitas 27 (1):1-42.
    Prioritarianism is supposed to be a theory of the overall good that captures the common intuition of . But it is difficult to give precise content to the prioritarian claim. Over the past few decades, prioritarians have increasingly responded to this by formulating prioritarianism not in terms of an alleged primitive notion of quantity of well-being, but instead in terms of von NeumannPrimitivistTechnicalpriority to the worse offMorgenstern utility is a retrograde step.
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  36. Peter J. Hammond (1988). Consequentialist Foundations for Expected Utility. Theory and Decision 25 (1):25-78.
    Behaviour norms are considered for decision trees which allow both objective probabilities and uncertain states of the world with unknown probabilities. Terminal nodes have consequences in a given domain. Behaviour is required to be consistent in subtrees. Consequentialist behaviour, by definition, reveals a consequence choice function independent of the structure of the decision tree. It implies that behaviour reveals a revealed preference ordering satisfying both the independence axiom and a novel form of sure-thing principle. Continuous consequentialist behaviour must be expected (...)
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  37. Sven Ove Hansson (2001). The Modes of Value. Philosophical Studies 104 (1):33 - 46.
    Contrary to the received view, decision theory is not primarily devoted to instrumental (ends-to-means) reasoning. Instead, its major preoccupation is the derivation of ends from other ends. Given preferences over basic alternatives, it constructs preferences over alternatives that have been modified through the addition of value object modifiers (modes) that specify probability, uncertainty, distance in time etc. A typology of the decision-theoretical modes is offered. The modes do not have (even extrinsic) value, but they transform the value of objects to (...)
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  38. John C. Harsanyi (1977). Rule Utilitarianism and Decision Theory. Erkenntnis 11 (1):25 - 53.
    The purpose of this paper is to show how some of the controversial questions concerning utilitarianism can be clarified by the modelling techniques and the other analytical tools of decision theory (and, sometimes, of game theory). It is suggested that the moral rules of utilitarian ethics have a logical status similar to that of the normative rules (theorems) of such formal normative disciplines as decision theory and game theory.The paper argues that social utility should be defined, not in hedonistic or (...)
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  39. Chris Heathwood (forthcoming). Desire-Fulfillment Theory. In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge
    Explains the desire-fulfillment theory of well-being, its history, its development, its varieties, its advantages, and its challenges.
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  40. Jeffrey Helzner (2009). On the Application of Multiattribute Utility Theory to Models of Choice. Theory and Decision 66 (4):301-315.
    Ellsberg (The Quarterly Journal of Economics 75, 643–669 (1961); Risk, Ambiguity and Decision, Garland Publishing (2001)) argued that uncertainty is not reducible to risk. At the center of Ellsberg’s argument lies a thought experiment that has come to be known as the three-color example. It has been observed that a significant number of sophisticated decision makers violate the requirements of subjective expected utility theory when they are confronted with Ellsberg’s three-color example. More generally, such decision makers are in conflict with (...)
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  41. Iwao Hirose & Andrew Reisner (eds.) (2015). Weighing and Reasoning: Themes From the Work of John Broome. Oxford University Press.
    This book is a collection of 15 new papers celebrating the work and career of John Broome. Publication is expected in spring 2015.
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  42. Richard C. Jeffrey (1971). On Interpersonal Utility Theory. Journal of Philosophy 68 (20):647-656.
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  43. Karsten Klint Jensen (1995). Measuring the Size of a Benefit and its Moral Weight On the Significance of John Broome's: “Interpersonal Addition Theorem”. Theoria 61 (1):25-60.
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  44. Anthony Kenny (2006). Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Utility: Happiness in Philosophical and Economic Thought. Imprint Academic.
    A volume on nature, ingredients, causes and consequences of human happiness by father and son team of Antony and Charles Kenny.
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  45. John Maynard Keynes (1909). The Method of Index Numbers with Special Reference to the Measurement of General Exchange Value. In The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes. Macmillan 50-156.
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  46. Anna Kusser & Wolfgang Spohn (1992). The Utility of Pleasure is a Pain for Decision Theory. Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):10-29.
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  47. Marc le Menestrel (2001). A Process Approach to the Utility for Gambling. Theory and Decision 50 (3):249-262.
    This paper argues that any specific utility or disutility for gambling must be excluded from expected utility because such a theory is consequential while a pleasure or displeasure for gambling is a matter of process, not of consequences. A (dis)utility for gambling is modeled as a process utility which monotonically combines with expected utility restricted to consequences. This allows for a process (dis)utility for gambling to be revealed. As an illustration, the model shows how empirical observations in the Allais paradox (...)
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  48. Marc le Menestrel & Luk van Wassenhove (2001). The Domain and Interpretation of Utility Functions: An Exploration. Theory and Decision 51 (2/4):329-349.
    This paper proposes an exploration of the methodology of utility functions that distinguishes interpretation from representation. While representation univocally assigns numbers to the entities of the domain of utility functions, interpretation relates these entities with empirically observable objects of choice. This allows us to make explicit the standard interpretation of utility functions which assumes that two objects have the same utility if and only if the individual is indifferent among them. We explore the underlying assumptions of such an hypothesis and (...)
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  49. Stephen Leeds (1990). Levi's Decision Theory. Philosophy of Science 57 (1):158-168.
    Suppose my utilities are representable by a set of utility assignments, each defined for atomic sentences; suppose my beliefs are representable by a set of probability assignments. Then each of my utility assignments together with each of my probability assignments will determine a utility assignment to non-atomic sentences, in a familiar way. This paper is concerned with the question, whether I am committed to all the utility assignments so constructible. Richard Jeffrey (1984) says (in effect) "no", Isaac Levi (1974) says (...)
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  50. Christian List (2003). Are Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility Indeterminate? Erkenntnis 58 (2):229 - 260.
    On the orthodox view in economics, interpersonal comparisons of utilityare not empirically meaningful, and ``hence'' impossible. To reassess this view, this paper draws onthe parallels between the problem of interpersonal comparisons of utility and the problem of translation of linguisticmeaning, as explored by Quine. I discuss several cases of what the empirical evidence for interpersonal comparisonsof utility might be and show that, even on the strongest of these, interpersonal comparisons are empiricallyunderdetermined and, if we also deny any appropriate truth of (...)
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