Choice-Based Cardinal Utility. A Tribute to Patrick Suppes

Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (3):268-288 (2016)
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Abstract
We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and dis- tinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions as representing preference diĀ¤erences, while being non- etheless empirically related to choices. We highlight the originality, promises and limits of this choice-based cardinalism.
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First archival date: 2016-02-26
Latest version: 2 (2016-06-30)
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