Aggregating extended preferences

Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1163-1190 (2017)
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An important objection to preference-satisfaction theories of well-being is that they cannot make sense of interpersonal comparisons. A tradition dating back to Harsanyi :434, 1953) attempts to solve this problem by appeal to people’s so-called extended preferences. This paper presents a new problem for the extended preferences program, related to Arrow’s celebrated impossibility theorem. We consider three ways in which the extended-preference theorist might avoid this problem, and recommend that she pursue one: developing aggregation rules that violate Arrow’s Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives condition.

Author Profiles

Harvey Lederman
University of Texas at Austin
Hilary Greaves
Oxford University


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