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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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Expected Utility Theory/Expected Value Theory

Expected Utility Theory/Expected Value Theory

(p.232) 8 Expected Utility Theory/Expected Value Theory
Rethinking the Good

Larry S. Temkin

Oxford University Press

The previous chapters offered a number of “impossibility” results. It was argued that certain deeply held views are incompatible, so that, seemingly, at least one of the views in question must be rejected. Among the views that might be rejected is the view that “all-things-considered better than” (in my wide reason-implying sense) is a transitive relation. Among those who accept the impossibility results, some are convinced that the transitivity of “better than” cannot be the position we should reject, because of the role that it plays in Expected Utility Theory as such a theory might be applied to the domain of value, a position that we might call Expected Value Theory. This chapter casts doubt on whether we can confidently insist that “all-things-considered better than” must be a transitive relation, because of the role that such a position plays in Expected Value Theory.

Keywords:   Expected Value Theory, all-things-considered better than, transitive relations

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