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Exploiting Cyclic Preference

Mind 126 (504):975-1022 (2017)

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  1. Farewell to arms? The all-or-nothing problem again.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Joe Horton’s all-or-nothing problem concerns a situation in which it is morally permissible to do nothing and to save two people but not to save only one. This description seems to entail that we should do nothing rather than save only one. I object to Horton’s solution and challenge a principle he draws attention to, which is required to generate the problem but which Horton regards as beyond dispute.
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  • Probability discounting and money pumps.Petra Kosonen - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In response to cases that involve tiny probabilities of huge payoffs, some argue that we ought to discount small probabilities down to zero. However, this paper shows that doing so violates Independence and Continuity, and as a result of these violations, those who discount small probabilities can be exploited by money pumps. Various possible ways of avoiding exploitation will be discussed. This paper concludes that the money pump for Independence undermines the plausibility of discounting small probabilities. Much of the discussion (...)
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  • A risky challenge for intransitive preferences.Timothy Luke Williamson - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Philosophers have spent a great deal of time debating whether intransitive preferences can be rational. I present a risky decision that poses a challenge for the defender of intransitivity. The defender of intransitivity faces a trilemma and must either: (i) reject the rationality of intransitive preferences, (ii) deny State-wise Dominance, or (iii) accept the bizarre verdict that you can be required to pay to relabel the tickets of a fair lottery. If we take the first horn, then we have a (...)
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  • The Asymmetry, Uncertainty, and the Long Term.Teruji Thomas - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):470-500.
    The asymmetry is the view in population ethics that, while we ought to avoid creating additional bad lives, there is no requirement to create additional good ones. The question is how to embed this intuitively compelling view in a more complete normative theory, and in particular one that treats uncertainty in a plausible way. While arguing against existing approaches, I present new and general principles for thinking about welfarist choice under uncertainty. Together, these reduce arbitrary choices to uncertainty-free ones, regardless (...)
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  • The Argument from Small Improvement is a Red Herring.Thomas Raleigh - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The much-discussed ‘Argument from Small Improvement’ has been advanced both as a reason to reject (tripartite) Completeness, one of the standard axioms of decision theory, and to accept the possibility of rationally incomparable choices. But this form of argument cannot be an effective basis for either of these conclusions, unless one already has some prior, independent reason to prefer Transitivity to Completeness as a constraint on rational preferences (or rational values). In particular, I show how a reverse argument from small (...)
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  • Infinite options, intransitive value, and supererogation.Daniel Muñoz - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2063-2075.
    Supererogatory acts are those that lie “beyond the call of duty.” There are two standard ways to define this idea more precisely. Although the definitions are often seen as equivalent, I argue that they can diverge when options are infinite, or when there are cycles of better options; moreover, each definition is acceptable in only one case. I consider two ways out of this dilemma.
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  • The Welfare Diffusion Objection to Prioritarianism.Tomi Francis - 2024 - Economics and Philosophy 40 (1):55-76.
    According to the Welfare Diffusion Objection, we should reject Prioritarianism because it implies the ‘desirability of welfare diffusion’: the claim that it can be better for there to be less total wellbeing spread thinly between a larger total number of people, rather than for there to be more total wellbeing, spread more generously between a smaller total number of people. I argue that while Prioritarianism does not directly imply the desirability of welfare diffusion, Prioritarians are nevertheless implicitly committed to certain (...)
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  • Second Thoughts about My Favourite Theory.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (3):448-470.
    A straightforward way to handle moral uncertainty is simply to follow the moral theory in which you have most credence. This approach is known as My Favourite Theory. In this paper, I argue that, in some cases, My Favourite Theory prescribes choices that are, sequentially, worse in expected moral value than the opposite choices according to each moral theory you have any credence in. In addition this, problem generalizes to other approaches that avoid intertheoretic comparisons of value, such as My (...)
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