David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Noûs 36 (4):550–577 (2002)
1.1 In 1955, John Harsanyi proved a remarkable theorem:1 Suppose n agents satisfy the assumptions of von Neumann/Morgenstern (1947) expected utility theory, and so does the group as a whole (or an observer). Suppose that, if each member of the group prefers option a to b, then so does the group, or the observer (Pareto condition). Then the group’s utility function is a weighted sum of the individual utility functions. Despite Harsanyi’s insistence that what he calls the Utilitarian Theorem embeds utilitarianism into a theory of rationality, the theorem has fallen short of having the kind of impact on the discussion of utilitarianism for which Harsanyi hoped. Yet how could the theorem influence this discussion? Utilitarianism is as attractive to some as it is appalling to others. The prospects for this dispute to be affected by a theorem seem dim. Yet a closer look shows how the theorem could make a contribution. To fix ideas, I understand by utilitarianism the following claims: (1) Consequentialism: Actions are evaluated in terms of their consequences only. (2) Bayesianism: An agent's beliefs about possible outcomes are captured probabilistically. (3) Welfarism: The judgement of the relative goodness of states of affairs is based..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Wlodek Rabinowicz (2002). Prioritarianism for Prospects. Utilitas 14 (01):2-21.
Marc Fleurbaey, Maurice Salles & John A. Weymark (eds.) (2008). Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes From Harsanyi and Rawls. Cambridge University Press.
John C. Harsanyi (1977). Rule Utilitarianism and Decision Theory. Erkenntnis 11 (1):25 - 53.
Daniel Hunter (1994). Act Utilitarianism and Dynamic Deliberation. Erkenntnis 41 (1):1 - 35.
Peter Vallentyne (1993). “The Connection Between Prudential Goodness and Moral Permissibility”, Journal of Social Philosophy 24 (1993): 105-28. Journal of Social Philosophy 24:105-28.
Arja H. Turunen-Red & John A. Weymark (1999). Linear Aggregation of SSB Utility Functionals. Theory and Decision 46 (3):281-294.
Matthias Hild, Mathias Risse, John Harsanyi, John Rawls & John A. Weymark, Preference Aggregation After Harsanyi.
Michael Moehler (2013). Contractarian Ethics and Harsanyi's Two Justifications of Utilitarianism. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (1):24-47.
Osamu Mori (2003). Sanyi's Social Aggregation Theorem and Dictatorship. Theory and Decision 55 (3):257-272.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads41 ( #58,316 of 1,696,464 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #79,559 of 1,696,464 )
How can I increase my downloads?