David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Lawrence C. Becker Mary Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, Volume 2. Routledge (2001)
According to Transitivity, if A is better than B, and B is better than C, then A is better than C. We may understand “better than” as short for any of the following: “intrinsically better than,” “all things considered better than,” “hedonically better than,” and “better for a person than.” The same puzzle arises on each interpretation. Transitivity seems entrenched in our conceptual scheme, if not analytically true; its failure implies, implausibly, that some possibilities cannot be ranked in terms of value; scads of three-member sets inductively confirm it; and hypothetical money-pumpers coax its detractors out of house and home by proffering a series of trades—C for A, B for C and A for B (and then repeating the cycle)—for an endlessly accumulating price. Nevertheless, two highly plausible principles entail that Transitivity is false.
|Keywords||Transitivity Intransitivity betterness|
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