Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-ms7nj Total loading time: 0.202 Render date: 2022-08-08T20:26:05.089Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Parity, Clumpiness and Rational Choice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 November 2007

MARTIN PETERSON*
Affiliation:
University of Cambridgembp24@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

Some philosophers believe that two objects of value can be ‘roughly equal’, or ‘on a par’, or belong to the same ‘clump’ of value in a sense that is fundamentally different from that in which some objects are ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, or ‘equally as good as’ others. This article shows that if two objects are on a par, or belong to the same clump, then an agent accepting a few plausible premises can be exploited in a money-pump. The central premise of the argument is that value is choice-guiding. If one object is more valuable than another, then it is not permitted to choose the less valuable object; and if two objects are equally valuable it is permitted to choose either of them; and if two objects are on a par or belong to the same clump it is also permitted to choose either of them.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 Chang, Ruth, ‘The Possibility of Parity’, Ethics 112 (2002), pp. 659–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 Carlsson, Erik, ‘Parity Defined in Terms of Betterness’, Hommage à Wlodek: Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz, ed. Ronnow-Rassmussen, T. et al. . (Lund, 2007)Google Scholar, argues that Chang's concept of parity can be defined in terms of betterness. Carlson's definition is interesting, but for our present purposes it does not matter whether it captures Chang's original intentions or not.

3 Parfit, Derek, Reasons and Persons (Oxford, 1984), p. 431Google Scholar; Griffin, James, Well-Being (Oxford, 1986), pp. 96–8Google ScholarPubMed.

4 Hsieh, Nien-He, ‘Equality, Clumpiness and Incomparability’, Utilitas 17 (2005), p. 184CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 Hsieh, ‘Equality, Clumpiness and Incomparability’, p. 182.

6 Scanlon, Thomas M., What We Owe To Each Other (Cambridge, Mass., 1998)Google Scholar.

7 In conversation, August 2005.

8 Schick, Frederick, ‘Dutch Bookies and Money Pumps’, The Journal of Philosophy 83 (1986), p. 117CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 McClennen, Edward F., Rationality and Dynamic Choice (Cambridge, 1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

10 Rabinowicz, Wlodek, ‘Money Pump with Foresight’, Imperceptible Harms and Benefits, ed. Almeida, Michael J. (Dordrecht, 2000), pp. 123–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

11 Chang, Ruth, ‘Parity, Interval Value, and Choice’, Ethics 115 (2005), pp. 346–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

12 Chang, ‘Parity, Interval Value, and Choice’, p. 347.

13 See e.g. Chang, Ruth, ‘Introduction’, Incommensurability, Incomparability and Practical Reason (Cambridge, Mass., 1997)Google Scholar and ‘Parity, Interval Value, and Choice’.

14 This objection was suggested to me by Eric Carlsson and Tor Sandqvist in conversation.

15 See e.g. Sen, Amartya, ‘Internal Consistency of Choice’, Econometrica 61 (1993), pp. 495521CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

16 Email correspondence, 11 September 2005.

17 Email correspondence, 12 September 2005.

18 The condition that no object is a member of more than one clump is not explicitly mentioned by Hsieh, but I shall nevertheless assume that he accepts this condition – otherwise it would of course be trivial to construct a money-pump.

19 Hsieh, ‘Equality, Clumpiness, and Incomparability’, p. 184.

20 Hsieh, ‘Equality, Clumpiness, and Incomparability’, p. 186.

21 I would like to thank Erik Carlsson, Sven Danielsson, Ruth Chang, Nicolas Espinoza, Nien-he Hsieh, Wlodek Rabinowicz, and Tor Sandqvist for fruitful discussions and helpful comments. My work on this article has been generously supported by a grant from the Swedish Rescue Services Agency.

15
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Parity, Clumpiness and Rational Choice
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Parity, Clumpiness and Rational Choice
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Parity, Clumpiness and Rational Choice
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *