About this topic
Summary Two options or objects a and b are said to be incommensurable, incommensurate, or incomparable with respect to some value when the comparison is not malformed or irrelevant, but with respect to the value in question, (i) it is not true that a is better than b, (ii) it is not true that b is better than a, and (iii) it is not true that a and b are precisely equally good. A famous example (from John Broome) is the comparison between Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral: which is more impressive? Incommensurability raises two main sets of issues. First, what is the semantic and metaphysical status of a comparison between incommensurate objects? Second, how can practical reason operate when it must choose between such objects?
Key works Many of the central works in this area are found in Chang 1997, including several of those listed here. For arguments that there really are incommensurate options, and not merely those that are equally good, see 'small-improvement arguments' in  De Sousa 1974, Raz 1986 and Sinnott-Armstrong 1985. The latter also argues that incommensurability can ground moral dilemmas. Recent criticism of small-improvement arguments may be found in Gustafsson & Espinoza 2010. Chang 2002 argues that there is a fourth comparative called parity which sometimes holds between incommensurate objects. Broome 1997 argues that incommensurability is vagueness, or indeterminacy; Carlson 2004 criticises the central principle of this argument. Constantinescu 2012 is a recent defence of that principle. The self-described 'designated eccentric' who rejects incommensurability (at least with respect to the Moorean 'good') is Regan 1997.
Introductions Chang 1997 is a comprehensive survey of the issues.
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192 found
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  1. The Case for Incomparability.Benjamin Eva - manuscript
    According to influential arguments from several branches of philosophy, there exist some gradable natural language expressions that violate the following principle: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. Dorr, Nebel and Zuehl (2022) (DNZ), who refer to this principle as ‘Comparability’, respond to these arguments and offer a systematic case in support of Comparability. In this paper, I respond (...)
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  2. Share the Sugar.Christian Tarsney, Harvey Lederman & Dean Spears - manuscript
    We provide a general argument against value incomparability, based on a new style of impossibility result. In particular, we show that, against plausible background assumptions, value incomparability creates an incompatibility between two very plausible principles for ranking lotteries: a weak "negative dominance" principle (to the effect that Lottery 1 can be better than Lottery 2 only if some possible outcome of Lottery 1 is better than some possible outcome of Lottery 2) and a weak form of ex ante Pareto (to (...)
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  3. Violations of Human Dignity.Webster Elaine & Kaufmann Paulus (eds.) - forthcoming - Springer.
  4. Parity and Pareto.Brian Hedden - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Pareto principles are at the core of ethics and decision theory. The Strong Pareto principle says that if one thing is better than another for someone and at least as good for everyone else, then the one is overall better than the other. But a host of famous figures express it differently, with ‘not worse’ in place of ‘at least as good.’ In the presence of parity (or incommensurability), this results in a strictly stronger Pareto principle, which I call Super‐Strong (...)
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  5. Dimensions of Value.Brian Hedden & Daniel Muñoz - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Value pluralists believe in multiple dimensions of value. What does betterness along a dimension have to do with being better overall? Any systematic answer begins with the Strong Pareto principle: one thing is overall better than another if it is better along one dimension and at least as good along all others. We defend Strong Pareto from recent counterexamples and use our discussion to develop a novel view of dimensions of value, one which puts Strong Pareto on firmer footing. We (...)
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  6. Torture. How denying Moral Standing violates Human Dignity.Andreas Maier - forthcoming - In Webster Elaine & Kaufmann Paulus (eds.), Violations of Human Dignity. Springer.
    In this article I try to elucidate the concept of human dignity by taking a closer look at the features of a paradigmatic torture situation. After identifying the salient aspects of torture, I discuss various accounts for the moral wrongness of such acts and argue that what makes torture a violation of human dignity is the perverted moral relationship between torturer and victim. This idea is subsequently being substantiated and defended against important objections. In the final part of the chapter (...)
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  7. Each Counts for One.Daniel Muñoz - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    After 50 years of debate, the ethics of aggregation has reached a curious stalemate, with both sides arguing that only their theory treats people as equals. I argue that, on the issue of equality, both sides are wrong. From the premise that “each counts for one,” we cannot derive the conclusion that “more count for more”—or its negation. The familiar arguments from equality to aggregation presuppose more than equality: the Kamm/Scanlon “Balancing Argument” rests on what social choice theorists call “(Positive) (...)
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  8. The Rules of Rescue: Cost, Distance, and Effective Altruism, by Theron Pummer. [REVIEW]Daniel Muñoz - forthcoming - Mind.
  9. Path Independence and a Persistent Paradox of Population Ethics.Rush T. Stewart - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    In the face of an impossibility result, some assumption must be relaxed. The Mere Addition Paradox is an impossibility result in population ethics. Here, I explore substantially weakening the decision-theoretic assumptions involved. The central finding is that the Mere Addition Paradox persists even in the general framework of choice functions when we assume Path Independence as a minimal decision-theoretic constraint. Choice functions can be thought of either as generalizing the standard axiological assumption of a binary “betterness” relation, or as providing (...)
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  10. Critical-Set Views, Biographical Identity, and the Long Term.Elliott Thornley - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Critical-set views avoid the Repugnant Conclusion by subtracting some constant from the welfare score of each life in a population. These views are thus sensitive to facts about biographical identity: identity between lives. In this paper, I argue that questions of biographical identity give us reason to reject critical-set views and embrace the total view. I end with a practical implication. If we shift our credences towards the total view, we should also shift our efforts towards ensuring that humanity survives (...)
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  11. The Weight of Reasons: A Framework for Ethics.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - New York: Oxford University Press.
    The book develops, defends, and applies an account of weighing reasons to resolve various issues in ethics. It tells you everything you ever wanted to know about weighing reasons and probably a lot of stuff you didn't want to know too. The excerpt provided here is the Table of Contents, the Introduction, and Chapter 1.
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  12. Parity, Pluralism, and Permissible Partiality.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - In Eric Siverman & Chris Tweed (eds.), Virtuous and Vicious Partiality. Routledge.
    We can often permissibly choose a worse self-interested option over a better altruistic alternative. For example, it is permissible to eat out rather than donate the money to feed five hungry children for a single meal. If we eat out, we do something permissibly partial toward ourselves. If we donate, we go beyond the call of moral duty and do something supererogatory. Such phenomena aren’t easy to explain, and they rule out otherwise promising moral theories. Incommensurability and Ruth Chang’s notion (...)
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  13. The Isaac Levi Prize 2023: Optimization and Beyond.Akshath Jitendranath - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy 121 (3):1-2.
    This paper will be concerned with hard choices—that is, choice situations where an agent cannot make a rationally justified choice. Specifically, this paper asks: if an agent cannot optimize in a given situation, are they facing a hard choice? A pair of claims are defended in light of this question. First, situations where an agent cannot optimize because of incompleteness of the binary preference or value relation constitute a hard choice. Second, situations where agents cannot optimize because the binary preference (...)
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  14. The Case for Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - 2023 - Noûs 57 (2):414-453.
    We argue that all comparative expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are at least as F as themselves, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns (...)
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  15. The Possibility of Undistinguishedness.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (2):609-613.
    It is natural to assume that every value bearer must be good, bad, or neutral. This paper argues that this assumption is false if value incomparability is possible. More precisely, if value incommensurability is possible, then there is a fourth category of absolute value, in addition to the good, the bad, and the neutral.
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  16. The balance and weight of reasons.Nicholas Makins - 2023 - Theoria 89 (5):592-606.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed characterisation of some ways in which our preferences reflect our reasons. I will argue that practical reasons can be characterised along two dimensions that influence our preferences: their balance and their weight. This is analogous to a similar characterisation of the way in which probabilities reflect the balance and weight of evidence in epistemology. In this paper, I will illustrate the distinction between the balance and weight of reasons, and show (...)
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  17. Sources of transitivity.Daniel Muñoz - 2023 - Economics and Philosophy 39 (2):285-306.
    Why should ‘better than’ be transitive? The leading answer in ethics is that values do not change with context. But this cannot be the entire source of transitivity, I argue, since transitivity can fail even if values never change, so long as they are complex, with multiple dimensions combined non-additively. I conclude by exploring a new hypothesis: that all alleged cases of nontransitive betterness, such as Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion, can and should be modelled as the result of complexity, not context-relativity.
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  18. The Argument from Small Improvement is a Red Herring.Thomas Raleigh - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The much-discussed ‘Argument from Small Improvement’ has been advanced both as a reason to reject (tripartite) Completeness, one of the standard axioms of decision theory, and to accept the possibility of rationally incomparable choices. But this form of argument cannot be an effective basis for either of these conclusions, unless one already has some prior, independent reason to prefer Transitivity to Completeness as a constraint on rational preferences (or rational values). In particular, I show how a reverse argument from small (...)
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  19. Great Beyond All Comparison.Kenneth Walden - 2023 - In Sarah Buss & Nandi Theunissen (eds.), Rethinking the Value of Humanity. New York, US: OUP Usa. pp. 181-201.
    Many people find comparisons of the value of persons distasteful, even immoral. But what can be said in support of the claim that persons have incomparable worth? This chapter considers an argument purporting to show that the value of persons is incomparable because it is so great—because it is infinite. The argument rests on two claims: that the value of our capacity for valuing must equal or exceed the value of things valued and that our capacity for valuing is unbounded (...)
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  20. Lesser-Evil Justifications: A Reply to Frowe.Kerah Gordon-Solmon & Theron Pummer - 2022 - Law and Philosophy 41:639–646.
    Sometimes one can prevent harm only by contravening rights. If the harm one can prevent is great enough, compared to the stringency of the opposing rights, then one has a lesser-evil justification to contravene the rights. Non-consequentialist orthodoxy holds that, most of the time, lesser-evil justifications add to agents’ permissible options without taking any away. Helen Frowe rejects this view. She claims that, almost always, agents must act on their lesser-evil justifications. Our primary task is to refute Frowe’s flagship argument. (...)
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  21. Money-Pump Arguments.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Suppose that you prefer A to B, B to C, and C to A. Your preferences violate Expected Utility Theory by being cyclic. Money-pump arguments offer a way to show that such violations are irrational. Suppose that you start with A. Then you should be willing to trade A for C and then C for B. But then, once you have B, you are offered a trade back to A for a small cost. Since you prefer A to B, you (...)
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  22. The Many, the Few, and the Nature of Value.Daniel Muñoz - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):70-87.
    John Taurek argues that, in a choice between saving the many or the few, the numbers should not count. Some object that this view clashes with the transitivity of ‘better than’; others insist the clash can be avoided. I defend a middle ground: Taurek cannot have transitivity, but that doesn’t doom his view, given a suitable conception of value. I then formalize and explore two conceptions: one context-sensitive, one multidimensional.
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  23. Totalism without Repugnance.Jacob M. Nebel - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Tim Campbell, James Goodrich & Ketan Ramakrishnan (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 200-231.
    Totalism is the view that one distribution of well-being is better than another just in case the one contains a greater sum of well-being than the other. Many philosophers, following Parfit, reject totalism on the grounds that it entails the repugnant conclusion: that, for any number of excellent lives, there is some number of lives that are barely worth living whose existence would be better. This paper develops a theory of welfare aggregation—the lexical-threshold view—that allows totalism to avoid the repugnant (...)
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  24. Are Spectrum Arguments Defused by Vagueness?Teruji Thomas - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):743-757.
    ABSTRACT I consider paradoxical spectrum arguments involving transitive relations like ‘better than’. I argue that, despite being formally different from sorites arguments, at least some spectrum arguments arise from vagueness, and that vagueness might often be the most natural diagnosis.
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  25. On Evaluative Imprecision.Teruji Thomas - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Timothy Campbell, Ketan Ramakrishnan & Jimmy Goodrich (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 478-497.
    This chapter presents several arguments related to Parfit's notion of evaluative imprecision and his imprecisionist lexical view of population ethics. After sketching Parfit's view, it argues that, contrary to Parfit, imprecision and lexicality are both compatible with thinking about goodness in terms of positions on a scale of value. Then, by examining the role that imprecision is meant to play in defusing spectrum argument, it suggests that imprecision should be identified with vagueness. Next, it argues that there is space for (...)
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  26. Parity, moral options, and the weights of reasons.Chris Tucker - 2022 - Noûs 57 (2):454-480.
    The (moral) permissibility of an act is determined by the relative weights of reasons, or so I assume. But how many weights does a reason have? Weight Monism is the idea that reasons have a single weight value. There is just the weight of reasons. The simplest versions hold that the weight of each reason is either weightier than, less weighty than, or equal to every other reason. We’ll see that this simple view leads to paradox in at least two (...)
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  27. Respecting the Nonhuman Other: Individual Natural Otherness and the Case for Incommensurability of Moral Standing.Anna Https://Orcidorg Wienhues - 2022 - Environmental Values 31 (6):637-656.
    The concept of natural otherness can be found throughout the environmental ethics literature. Drawing on this concept, this article pursues two aims. For one, it argues for an account of individual natural otherness as stable difference as opposed to accounts of natural otherness that put more emphasis on independence for the purpose of differentiating individual natural otherness from the concept of wildness. Secondly, this account of natural otherness is engaged to argue for a particular way of theorising the moral standing (...)
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  28. Seeming incomparability and rational choice.Leo Yan - 2022 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (4):347-371.
    Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Volume 21, Issue 4, Page 347-371, November 2022. We sometimes have to choose between options that are seemingly incomparable insofar as they seem to be neither better than, worse than, nor equal to each other. This often happens when the available options are quite different from one another. For instance, consider a choice between prioritizing either criminal justice reform or healthcare reform as a public policy goal. Even after the relevant details of the goals and possible (...)
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  29. Five problems for the moral consensus about sins.Mike Ashfield - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 90 (3):157-189.
    A number of Christian theologians and philosophers have been critical of overly moralizing approaches to the doctrine of sin, but nearly all Christian thinkers maintain that moral fault is necessary or sufficient for sin to obtain. Call this the “Moral Consensus.” I begin by clarifying the relevance of impurities to the biblical cataloguing of sins. I then present four extensional problems for the Moral Consensus on sin, based on the biblical catalogue of sins: (1) moral over-demandingness, (2) agential unfairness, (3) (...)
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  30. Hard Choices Made Harder.Ryan Doody - 2021 - In Henrik Andersson & Anders Herlitz (eds.), Value Incommensurability: Ethics, Risk. And Decision-Making. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 247-266.
    How should you evaluate your choices when you’re unsure what their outcomes will be? One popular answer is to rank your options in terms of their expected utilities. But what should you do when you think that the value of their respective outcomes might be incommensurable? In the face of incommensurable values, it no longer makes sense to speak of ranking your options according to expected utility. Are there any general principles to guide us when facing decisions of this kind? (...)
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  31. Consequences of Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):70-98.
    We defend three controversial claims about preference, credence, and choice. First, all agents (not just rational ones) have complete preferences. Second, all agents (again, not just rational ones) have real-valued credences in every proposition in which they are confident to any degree. Third, there is almost always some unique thing we ought to do, want, or believe.
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  32. Expected utility theory on mixture spaces without the completeness axiom.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Joaquin Teruji Thomas - 2021 - arXiv:2102.06898 [Econ.TH].
    A mixture preorder is a preorder on a mixture space (such as a convex set) that is compatible with the mixing operation. In decision theoretic terms, it satisfies the central expected utility axiom of strong independence. We consider when a mixture preorder has a multi-representation that consists of real-valued, mixture-preserving functions. If it does, it must satisfy the mixture continuity axiom of Herstein and Milnor (1953). Mixture continuity is sufficient for a mixture-preserving multi-representation when the dimension of the mixture space (...)
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  33. Three Paradoxes of Supererogation.Daniel Muñoz - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):699-716.
    Supererogatory acts—good deeds “beyond the call of duty”—are a part of moral common sense, but conceptually puzzling. I propose a unified solution to three of the most infamous puzzles: the classic Paradox of Supererogation (if it’s so good, why isn’t it just obligatory?), Horton’s All or Nothing Problem, and Kamm’s Intransitivity Paradox. I conclude that supererogation makes sense if, and only if, the grounds of rightness are multi-dimensional and comparative.
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  34. Conceptualising Capabilities and Dimensions of Advantage as Needs.Benjamin Fardell - 2020 - Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 21.
    Amartya Sen’s critique of the concept of need and his case for the superiority of capability as a measure of advantage have been highly influential. However, Sen perpetuates a caricature. Needs are not necessarily mere instrumental resource requirements for the achievement of ends; the valuable ends of people’s lives can themselves constitute needs, as can freedoms. Indeed, these ideas are already present in basic needs theory. Moreover, official disavowals notwithstanding, expansive notions of need are implicitly present in certain important theories (...)
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  35. Utilitarianism with and without expected utility.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Joaquin Teruji Thomas - 2020 - Journal of Mathematical Economics 87:77-113.
    We give two social aggregation theorems under conditions of risk, one for constant population cases, the other an extension to variable populations. Intra and interpersonal welfare comparisons are encoded in a single ‘individual preorder’. The theorems give axioms that uniquely determine a social preorder in terms of this individual preorder. The social preorders described by these theorems have features that may be considered characteristic of Harsanyi-style utilitarianism, such as indifference to ex ante and ex post equality. However, the theorems are (...)
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  36. A fixed-population problem for the person-affecting restriction.Jacob M. Nebel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2779-2787.
    According to the person-affecting restriction, one distribution of welfare can be better than another only if there is someone for whom it is better. Extant problems for the person-affecting restriction involve variable-population cases, such as the nonidentity problem, which are notoriously controversial and difficult to resolve. This paper develops a fixed-population problem for the person-affecting restriction. The problem reveals that, in the presence of incommensurable welfare levels, the person-affecting restriction is incompatible with minimal requirements of impartial beneficence even in fixed-population (...)
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  37. Superhard Choices.Miguel F. Dos Santos - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):248-265.
    Sometimes, when comparing a pair of items, it appears that neither is better than the other, nor that they are equally good, relative to a certain value that they bear. Cases of this kind have come to be referred to as superhard comparisons. What grounds superhard comparisons? On the dominant views, held by Joseph Raz and Ruth Chang, they are grounded, at least partially, in the failure of the three classic value relations—‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. On an (...)
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  38. Can Every Option Be Rationally Impermissible?Chrisoula Andreou - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1309-1317.
    Moving from simple to increasingly sophisticated candidate cases, I argue against the idea that there can be cases in which, due to no fault of the agent or to any ambiguity regarding how things will go depending on which option is selected, all the options available to an agent are rationally impermissible. Whether there are cases that fit this bill—qualifying as what I will label no-fault-or-ambiguity rational dilemmas—depends on the characteristics of conclusive reasons. My reasoning leads me to the view (...)
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  39. Regret, Sub-optimality, and Vagueness.Chrisoula Andreou - 2019 - In Richard Dietz (ed.), Vagueness and Rationality in Language Use and Cognition. Springer Verlag. pp. 49-59.
    This paper concerns regret, where regretting is to be understood, roughly, as mourning the loss of a forgone good. My ultimate aim is to add a new dimension to existing debate concerning the internal logic of regret by revealing the significance of certain sorts of cases—including, most interestingly, certain down-to-earth cases involving vague goals—in relation to the possibility of regret in continued endorsement cases. Intuitively, it might seem like, in continued endorsement cases, an agent’s regret must be tied to the (...)
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  40. Opaque Sweetening and Transitivity.Ryan Doody - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):559-571.
    I argue that any plausible decision theory for agents with incomplete preferences which obeys the Never Worse Principle will violate Transitivity. The Never Worse Principle says that if one option never does worse than another, you shouldn’t disprefer it. Transitivity says that if you prefer X to Y and you prefer Y to Z, then you should prefer X to Z. Violating Transitivity allows one to be money pumped. Although agents with incomplete preferences are already, in virtue of having incomplete (...)
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  41. Parity, prospects, and predominance.Ryan Doody - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1077-1095.
    Let’s say that you regard two things as on a par when you don’t prefer one to other and aren’t indifferent between them. What does rationality require of you when choosing between risky options whose outcomes you regard as on a par? According to Prospectism, you are required to choose the option with the best prospects, where an option’s prospects is a probability-distribution over its potential outcomes. In this paper, I argue that Prospectism violates a dominance principle—which I call The (...)
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  42. Aggregation for potentially infinite populations without continuity or completeness.David McCarthy, Kalle M. Mikkola & J. Teruji Thomas - 2019 - arXiv:1911.00872 [Econ.TH].
    We present an abstract social aggregation theorem. Society, and each individual, has a preorder that may be interpreted as expressing values or beliefs. The preorders are allowed to violate both completeness and continuity, and the population is allowed to be infinite. The preorders are only assumed to be represented by functions with values in partially ordered vector spaces, and whose product has convex range. This includes all preorders that satisfy strong independence. Any Pareto indifferent social preorder is then shown to (...)
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  43. Asymmetries in the Value of Existence.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):126-145.
    According to asymmetric comparativism, it is worse for a person to exist with a miserable life than not to exist, but it is not better for a person to exist with a happy life than not to exist. My aim in this paper is to explain how asymmetric comparativism could possibly be true. My account of asymmetric comparativism begins with a different asymmetry, regarding the (dis)value of early death. I offer an account of this early death asymmetry, appealing to the (...)
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  44. On the Limits of the Precautionary Principle.H. Orri Stefansson - 2019 - Risk Analysis 39 (6):1204-1222.
    The Precautionary Principle (PP) is an influential principle of risk management. It has been widely introduced into environmental legislation, and it plays an important role in most international environmental agreements. Yet, there is little consensus on precisely how to understand and formulate the principle. In this paper I prove some impossibility results for two plausible formulations of the PP as a decision-rule. These results illustrate the difficulty in making the PP consistent with the acceptance of any trade-offs between catastrophic risks (...)
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  45. Skepticism about Ought Simpliciter.Derek Clayton Baker - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    There are many different oughts. There is a moral ought, a prudential ought, an epistemic ought, the legal ought, the ought of etiquette, and so on. These oughts can prescribe incompatible actions. What I morally ought to do may be different from what I self-interestedly ought to do. Philosophers have claimed that these conflicts are resolved by an authoritative ought, or by facts about what one ought to do simpliciter or all-things-considered. However, the only coherent notion of an ought simpliciter (...)
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  46. Consideraciones sobre la fuerza de las razones en contra de dañar.Santiago Truccone Borgogno - 2018 - Critica 50 (149):31-57.
    En este trabajo realizaré afirmaciones sobre la fuerza de las razones en contra de dañar. Distinguiré diferentes tipos de estados de daño y de acciones dañosas. Explicaré qué tipo de estado de daño es más grave y qué tipo de acción dañosa genera razones más fuertes en contra de dañar. Finalmente compararé la fuerza de las razones en contra de dañar derivadas tanto de los estados de daño como de los distintos tipos de acciones dañosas, para establecer una regla de (...)
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  47. Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):367-392.
    A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has already created. (...)
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  48. Does the Collapsing Principle Rule Out Borderline Cases?Johan E. Gustafsson - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (4):483-492.
    If ‘F’ is a predicate, then ‘Fer than’ or ‘more F than’ is a corresponding comparative relational predicate. Concerning such comparative relations, John Broome’s Collapsing Principle states that, for any x and y, if it is false that y is Fer than x and not false that x is Fer than y, then it is true that x is Fer than y. Luke Elson has recently put forward two alleged counter-examples to this principle, allegedly showing that it yields contradictions if (...)
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  49. Incommensurability and vagueness in spectrum arguments: options for saving transitivity of betterness.Toby Handfield & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2373-2387.
    The spectrum argument purports to show that the better-than relation is not transitive, and consequently that orthodox value theory is built on dubious foundations. The argument works by constructing a sequence of increasingly less painful but more drawn-out experiences, such that each experience in the spectrum is worse than the previous one, yet the final experience is better than the experience with which the spectrum began. Hence the betterness relation admits cycles, threatening either transitivity or asymmetry of the relation. This (...)
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  50. Continuity and completeness of strongly independent preorders.David McCarthy & Kalle Mikkola - 2018 - Mathematical Social Sciences 93:141-145.
    A strongly independent preorder on a possibly in finite dimensional convex set that satisfi es two of the following conditions must satisfy the third: (i) the Archimedean continuity condition; (ii) mixture continuity; and (iii) comparability under the preorder is an equivalence relation. In addition, if the preorder is nontrivial (has nonempty asymmetric part) and satisfi es two of the following conditions, it must satisfy the third: (i') a modest strengthening of the Archimedean condition; (ii') mixture continuity; and (iii') completeness. Applications (...)
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