The Good, the Bad, and the Transitivity of Better Than

Noûs 52 (4):874-899 (2018)

Authors
Jake Nebel
University of Southern California
Abstract
The Rachels–Temkin spectrum arguments against the transitivity of better than involve good or bad experiences, lives, or outcomes that vary along multiple dimensions—e.g., duration and intensity of pleasure or pain. This paper presents variations on these arguments involving combinations of good and bad experiences, which have even more radical implications than the violation of transitivity. These variations force opponents of transitivity to conclude that something good is worse than something that isn’t good, on pain of rejecting the good altogether. That is impossible, so we must reject the spectrum arguments.
Keywords axiology  transitivity  multidimensional vagueness  better than  good  incommensurability
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1111/nous.12198
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

An Intrapersonal Addition Paradox.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Ethics 129 (2):309-343.
Spectrum Arguments and Hypersensitivity.Theron Pummer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1729-1744.

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