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Rethinking the GoodMoral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning$
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Larry S. Temkin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759446.001.0001

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Juggling to Preserve Transitivity

Juggling to Preserve Transitivity

(p.457) 13 Juggling to Preserve Transitivity
Rethinking the Good

Larry S. Temkin

Oxford University Press

Numerous arguments have been presented illustrating that a number of beliefs that people hold about ideals and the nature of the good are incompatible. Among these beliefs are various Axioms of Transitivity, which hold that “equally as good as,” “at least as good as,” and “all-things-considered better than” are transitive relations. Given the central role that the Axioms of Transitivity play in practical reasoning, including the role that they play in Expected Value Theory, and that their analogues play in Expected Utility Theory, many suggestions have been made as to how we might preserve the Axioms of Transitivity even in the face of various arguments. This chapter considers the plausibility and implications of these suggestions. In doing this, it focuses on the view that “all-things-considered better than” is a transitive relation and, for simplicity, refer to that view as the Axiom of Transitivity.

Keywords:   ideals, good, Axiom of Transitivity, all-things-considered better than, transitive relations

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