In defense of adaptive preferences

Philosophical Studies 142 (3):307 - 324 (2009)
An adaptive preference is a preference that is regimented in response to an agent’s set of feasible options. The fabled fox in the sour grapes story undergoes an adaptive preference change. I consider adaptive preferences more broadly, to include adaptive preference formation as well. I argue that many adaptive preferences that other philosophers have cast out as irrational sour-grapes-like preferences are actually fully rational preferences worthy of pursuit. I offer a means of distinguishing rational and worthy adaptive preferences from irrational and unworthy ones. The distinction is based on the agent’s own appraisal of the adaptive preference.
Keywords Rational choice  Preferences  Adaptive preferences  Sour grapes  Elster  Bovens
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DOI 10.2307/27734372
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Elizabeth Barnes (2009). Disability and Adaptive Preference. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):1-22.
Jukka Varelius (2012). Ending Life, Morality, and Meaning. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):559-574.

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