On the Normative Dimension of St. Petersburg Paradox.

David Teira
National Distance Education University
In this paper I offer an account of the normative dimension implicit in D. Bernoulli’s expected utility functions by means of an analysis of the juridical metaphors upon which the concept of mathematical expectation was moulded. Following a suggestion by the late E. Coumet, I show how this concept incorporated a certain standard of justice which was put in question by the St. Petersburg paradox. I contend that Bernoulli would have solved it by introducing an alternative normative criterion rather than a positive model of decision-making processes.
Keywords St. Petersburg paradox  expected utility theory  Daniel Bernoulli
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2005.08.019
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