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  1. Contractarian Ethics and Harsanyi’s Two Justifications of Utilitarianism.Michael Moehler - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (1):24-47.
    Harsanyi defends utilitarianism by means of an axiomatic proof and by what he calls the 'equiprobability model'. Both justifications of utilitarianism aim to show that utilitarian ethics can be derived from Bayesian rationality and some weak moral constraints on the reasoning of rational agents. I argue that, from the perspective of Bayesian agents, one of these constraints, the impersonality constraint, is not weak at all if its meaning is made precise, and that generally, it even contradicts individual rational agency. Without (...)
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  • One-by-One: Moral Theory for Separate Persons.Bastian Steuwer - 2020 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    You and I lead different lives. While we share a society and a world, our existence is separate from one another. You and I matter individually, by ourselves. My dissertation is about this simple thought. I argue that this simple insight, the separateness of persons, tells us something fundamental about morality. My dissertation seeks to answer how the separateness of persons matters. I develop a precise view of the demands of the separateness of persons. The separateness of persons imposes both (...)
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  • Do Bets Reveal Beliefs?Jean Baccelli - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3393-3419.
    This paper examines the preference-based approach to the identification of beliefs. It focuses on the main problem to which this approach is exposed, namely that of state-dependent utility. First, the problem is illustrated in full detail. Four types of state-dependent utility issues are distinguished. Second, a comprehensive strategy for identifying beliefs under state-dependent utility is presented and discussed. For the problem to be solved following this strategy, however, preferences need to extend beyond choices. We claim that this a necessary feature (...)
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  • Fundamental Utilitarianism and Intergenerational Equity with Extinction Discounting.Graciela Chichilnisky, Peter J. Hammond & Nicholas Stern - forthcoming - Social Choice and Welfare.
    Ramsey famously condemned discounting “future enjoyments” as “ethically indefensible”. Suppes enunciated an equity criterion which, when social choice is utilitarian, implies giving equal weight to all individuals’ utilities. By contrast, Arrow accepted, perhaps reluctantly, what he called Koopmans’ :287–309, 1960) “strong argument” implying that no equitable preference ordering exists for a sufficiently unrestricted domain of infinite utility streams. Here we derive an equitable utilitarian objective for a finite population based on a version of the Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, where there is (...)
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  • Extended Preferences and Interpersonal Comparisons: A New Account.Matthew D. Adler - 2014 - Economics and Philosophy 30 (2):123-162.
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  • Social Justice, Genomic Justice and the Veil of Ignorance: Harsanyi Meets Mendel.Samir Okasha - 2012 - Economics and Philosophy 28 (1):43-71.
    John Harsanyi and John Rawls both used the veil of ignorance thought experiment to study the problem of choosing between alternative social arrangements. With his ‘impartial observer theorem’, Harsanyi tried to show that the veil of ignorance argument leads inevitably to utilitarianism, an argument criticized by Sen, Weymark and others. A quite different use of the veil-of-ignorance concept is found in evolutionary biology. In the cell-division process called meiosis, in which sexually reproducing organisms produce gametes, the chromosome number is halved; (...)
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  • Optimal Inequality Behind the Veil of Ignorance.Che-Yuan Liang - 2017 - Theory and Decision 83 (3):431-455.
    In Rawls’ influential social contract approach to distributive justice, the fair income distribution is the one that an individual would choose behind a veil of ignorance. Harsanyi treated this situation as a decision under risk and arrived at utilitarianism using expected utility theory. This paper investigates the implications of applying cumulative prospect theory instead, which better describes behavior under risk. I find that the specific type of inequality in bottom-heavy right-skewed income distributions, which includes the log-normal income distribution, could be (...)
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  • ¿Cómo mide el riesgo el observador impracial?Antonio J. Heras & David Teira - 2015 - Critica 47 (139):47-65.
    Exploramos aquí la conexión entre los conceptos de riesgo e igualdad en el argumento del observador imparcial. La concepción de la justicia que elegiría un observador imparcial se justifica por la pureza del procedimiento de elección. Sin embargo, si modelizamos esta decisión utilizando medidas del riesgo habituales en matemática financiera, veremos cómo el criterio de elección del observador bajo el velo de la ignorancia contiene una preferencia implícita por el grado de desigualdad resultante. Esto nos obliga a reconsiderar la pureza (...)
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  • Should We Discount the Welfare of Future Generations? : Ramsey and Suppes Versus Koopmans and Arrow.Graciela Chichilnisky, Peter J. Hammond & Nicholas Stern - unknown
    Ramsey famously pronounced that discounting “future enjoyments” would be ethically indefensible. Suppes enunciated an equity criterion implying that all individuals’ welfare should be treated equally. By contrast, Arrow accepted, perhaps rather reluctantly, the logical force of Koopmans’ argument that no satisfactory preference ordering on a sufficiently unrestricted domain of infinite utility streams satisfies equal treatment. In this paper, we first derive an equitable utilitarian objective based on a version of the Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, extended to allow a variable and uncertain (...)
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  • The Veil of Ignorance Violates Priority*: Juan D. Moreno-Ternero and John E. Roemer.Juan D. Moreno-Ternero - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (2):233-257.
    The veil of ignorance has been used often as a tool for recommending what justice requires with respect to the distribution of wealth. We complete Harsanyi's model of the veil of ignorance by appending information permitting objective comparisons among persons. In order to do so, we introduce the concept of objective empathy. We show that the veil-of-ignorance conception of John Harsanyi, so completed, and Ronald Dworkin's, when modelled formally, recommend wealth allocations in conflict with the prominently espoused view that priority (...)
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  • A Farewell to IIA.Aki Lehtinen - unknown
    Arrow's Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives (IIA) has been under criticism for decades for not taking account of preference intensities. Computer-simulation results by Aki Lehtinen concerning strategic voting under various voting rules show that this intensity argument does not need to rest on mere intuition. Voters may express intensities by voting strategically, and that this has beneficial aggregate-level consequences: utilitarian efficiency is higher if voters engage in strategic behaviour than if they always vote sincerely. Strategic voting is thus unambiguously beneficial under (...)
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  • Economics and Economic Justice.Marc Fleurbaey - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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