The ex ante pareto principle

Journal of Philosophy 114 (6):303-323 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The concept of ‘pareto superiority’ plays a central role in ethics, economics, and law. Pareto superiority is sometimes taken as a relation between outcomes, and sometimes as a relation between actions—even where the outcomes of the actions are uncertain. Whether one action is classed as pareto superior to another depends on the prospects under the actions for each person concerned. I argue that a person’s prospects can depend on how that person is designated. Without any constraints on acceptable designators, then, the concept of pareto superiority is ill defined and gives inconsistent results. I consider various ways of completing the definition and draw out some surprising implications.

Author's Profile

Anna Mahtani
London School of Economics

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-02-07

Downloads
356 (#25,563)

6 months
19 (#52,614)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?