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Essays on value, preference and freedom
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Essay I develops a new framework for preference relations, that makes further preference relations beyond the trichotomy of preference, dispreference and indifference conceptually possible. The new framework models relations in terms of swaps, which are conceived of as transfers from one alternative state to another. With this new preference framework the essay presents a fitting-attitude analysis of new value relations that avoids some problems of earlier proposals.

Essay II examines the small-improvement argument that is usually considered the most powerful argument against comparability, that is, the view that for any two alternatives an agent is rationally required to either prefer one of the alternatives to the other or be indifferent between them. The essay argues that while there might be reasons to believe each of the premises in the small-improvement argument, there is a conflict between these reasons. The conflict is such that we are not provided with a reason to believe the conjunction of the premises.

Essay III develops a new measure of freedom of choice based on the proposal that a set offers more freedom of choice than another if, and only if, the expected degree of dissimilarity between a random alternative from the set of possible alternatives and the most similar offered alternative in the set is smaller. Furthermore, a version of this measure is developed that is able to take into account the values of the possible options.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , viii, 61 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1654-627X ; 34
Keyword [en]
preference relations, value relations, rationality constraints, incomparability, the small-improvement argument, freedom of choice
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11056ISBN: 978-91-7415-421-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-11056DiVA: diva2:235111
Presentation
2009-09-23, 231, Teknikringen 78B, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-09-17 Created: 2009-09-13 Last updated: 2010-10-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Value and Preference Relations in Terms of Swapping
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Value and Preference Relations in Terms of Swapping
2009 (English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25224 (URN)
Note
QS 20120315Available from: 2010-10-13 Created: 2010-10-13 Last updated: 2012-03-15Bibliographically approved
2. Conflicting Reasons in the Small-Improvement Argument
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conflicting Reasons in the Small-Improvement Argument
2010 (English)In: Philosophical quarterly (Print), ISSN 0031-8094, E-ISSN 1467-9213, Vol. 60, no 241, 754-763 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The small-improvement argument is usually considered the most powerful argument against comparability, viz the view that for any two alternatives an agent is rationally required either to prefer one of the alternatives to the other or to be indifferent between them. We argue that while there might be reasons to believe each of the premises in the small-improvement argument, there is a conflict between these reasons. As a result, the reasons do not provide support for believing the conjunction of the premises. Without support for the conjunction of the premises, the small-improvement argument for incomparability fails.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2010
Keyword
rational requirements, the small-improvement argument, money-pumps, incomparability
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11055 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9213.2009.648.x (DOI)000281896500006 ()2-s2.0-77957005429 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20101013Available from: 2009-09-13 Created: 2009-09-13 Last updated: 2011-06-13Bibliographically approved
3. Freedom of choice and expected compromise
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Freedom of choice and expected compromise
2010 (English)In: Social Choice and Welfare, ISSN 0176-1714, E-ISSN 1432-217x, Vol. 35, no 1, 65-79 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article develops a new measure of freedom of choice based on the proposal that a set offers more freedom of choice than another if, and only if, the expected degree of dissimilarity between a random alternative from the set of possible alternatives and the most similar offered alternative in the set is smaller. Furthermore, a version of this measure is developed, which is able to take into account the values of the possible options.

Keyword
AXIOMATIC APPROACH, PREFERENCE, DIVERSITY, OPPORTUNITY
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25223 (URN)10.1007/s00355-009-0430-4 (DOI)000277794300005 ()2-s2.0-77952553685 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20101013Available from: 2010-10-13 Created: 2010-10-13 Last updated: 2011-06-13Bibliographically approved

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