Deriving Harsanyi’s Utilitarianism from De Finetti’s Book-Making Argument

Theory and Decision 61 (4):363-371 (2006)

Abstract
The book-making argument was introduced by de Finetti as a principle to prove the existence and uniqueness of subjective probabilities. It has subsequently been accepted as a principle of rationality for decisions under uncertainty. This note shows that the book-making argument has relevant applications to welfare: it gives a new foundation for utilitarianism that is alternative to Harsanyi’s, it generalizes foundations based on the theorem of the alternative, and it avoids arguments based on expected utility
Keywords book-making argument  policy independence  utilitarianism
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DOI 10.1007/s11238-006-9019-x
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The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.E. N. - 1945 - Journal of Philosophy 42 (20):550-554.

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