Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (3):268-288 (2016)

Jean Baccelli
Oxford University
Philippe Mongin
Last affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and distinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions as representing preference differences, while being non- etheless empirically related to choices. We highlight the originality, promises and limits of this choice-based cardinalism.
Keywords ordinal utility   cardinal utility  preference differences  Suppes   ordinalism   cardinalism.  representation theorems
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DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2016.1189112
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Citations of this work BETA

On the Recent Philosophy of Decision Theory.Ivan Moscati - 2020 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (1):98-106.
Philippe Mongin (1950-2020).Jean Baccelli & Marcus Pivato - 2021 - Theory and Decision 90 (1):1-9.

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