David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The Pareto principle states that if the members of society express the same preference judgment between two options, this judgment is compelling for society. A building block of normative economics and social choice theory, and often borrowed by contemporary political philosophy, the principle has rarely been subjected to philosophical criticism. The paper objects to it on the ground that it indifferently applies to those cases in which the individuals agree on both their expressed preferences and their reasons for entertaining them, and those cases in which they agree on their expressed preferences, while differing on their reasons. The latter are cases of "spurious unanimity", and it is normatively inappropriate, or so the paper argues, to defend unanimity preservation at the social level for them, so the Pareto principle is formulated much too broadly. The objection seems especially powerful when the principle is applied in an ex ante context of uncertainty, in which individuals can disagree on both their probabilities and utilities, and nonetheless agree on their preferences over prospects.
|Keywords||Pareto Principle Unanimity preservation Spurious Unanimity Aggregation of ex ante preferences|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Philippe Mongin (2012). The Doctrinal Paradox, the Discursive Dilemma, and Logical Aggregation Theory. Theory and Decision 73 (3):315-355.
Christian List (2011). Group Communication and the Transformation of Judgments: An Impossibility Result. Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (1):1-27.
Similar books and articles
Osamu Mori (2003). Sanyi's Social Aggregation Theorem and Dictatorship. Theory and Decision 55 (3):257-272.
Stuart Glennan (2002). Contextual Unanimity and the Units of Selection Problem. Philosophy of Science 69 (1):118-137.
Alex Voorhoeve & Marc Fleurbaey (2013). Decide As You Would With Full Information! An Argument Against Ex Ante Pareto. In Ole Norheim, Samia Hurst, Nir Eyal & Dan Wikler (eds.), Inequalities in Health: Concepts, Measures, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Isaac Levi (1990). Pareto Unanimity and Consensus. Journal of Philosophy 87 (9):481-492.
Andreas Hasman & Lars Peter Østerdal (2004). Equal Value of Life and the Pareto Principle. Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):19-33.
Philippe Mongin (2008). Factoring Out the Impossibility of Logical Aggregation. Journal of Economic Theory 141:p. 100-113.
John W. Carroll (1992). The Unanimity Theory and Probabilistic Sufficiency. Philosophy of Science 59 (3):471-479.
Fred Gifford (1986). Sober's Use of Unanimity in the Units of Selection Problem. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:473 - 482.
Thomas Christiano & Will Braynen (2008). Inequality, Injustice and Levelling Down. Ratio 21 (4):392-420.
Keith L. Dougherty & Julian Edward (2004). The Pareto Efficiency and Expected Costs of K-Majority Rules. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):161-189.
Joseph Heath (2006). Envy and Efficiency. Revue de Philosophie Économique 13.
Bettina Klaus (2001). Target Rules for Public Choice Economies on Tree Networks and in Euclidean Spaces. Theory and Decision 51 (1):13-29.
Oliver Schulte (1999). Minimal Belief Change and the Pareto Principle. Synthese 118 (3):329-361.
Martin Peterson (2004). From Outcomes to Acts: A Non-Standard Axiomatization of the Expected Utility Principle. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (4):361-378.
Added to index2012-03-30
Total downloads28 ( #66,504 of 1,101,944 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #52,474 of 1,101,944 )
How can I increase my downloads?