David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (3):285-299 (2008)
Stuart Rachels and Larry Temkin have offered a purported counter-example to the acyclicity of the relationship 'all things considered better than'. This example invokes our intuitive preferences over pairs of alternatives involving a single person's painful experiences of varying intensity and duration. These preferences, Rachels and Temkin claim, are confidently held, entirely reasonable, and cyclical. They conclude that we should drop acyclicity as a requirement of rationality. I argue that, together with the findings of recent research on the way people evaluate episodes of pain, the use of a heuristic known as similarity-based decision-making explains why our intuitive preferences may violate acyclicity in this example. I argue that this explanation should lead us to regard these preferences with suspicion, because it indicates that they may be the result of one or more biases. I conclude that Rachels' and Temkin's example does not provide sufficient grounds for rejecting acyclicity
|Keywords||Rational choice theory transitivity decision theory|
|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
Alex Voorhoeve (2013). Vaulting Intuition: Temkin's Critique of Transitivity. Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):409-425.
Yitzhak Benbaji (2009). Parity, Intransitivity, and a Context-Sensitive Degree Analysis of Gradability. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):313-335.
Similar books and articles
Duncan Macintosh (1991). Co-Operative Solutions to the Prisoner's Dilemma. Philosophical Studies 64 (3):309 - 321.
Alex Mintz, Nehemia Geva & Karl Derouen (1994). Mathematical Models of Foreign Policy Decision-Making: Compensatory Vs. Noncompensatory. Synthese 100 (3):441 - 460.
Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). A Reason-Based Theory of Rational Choice. Noûs 47 (1):104-134.
Thomas Sturm (2012). The “Rationality Wars” in Psychology: Where They Are and Where They Could Go. Inquiry 55 (1):66-81.
Stuart Rachels (1998). Counterexamples to the Transitivity of Better Than. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):71 – 83.
Sven Ove Hansson (1996). Decision Theoretic Foundations for Axioms of Rational Preference. Synthese 109 (3):401 - 412.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads41 ( #116,694 of 1,902,709 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #264,801 of 1,902,709 )
How can I increase my downloads?