Infinite Utilitarianism: More Is Always Better
AbstractWe address the question of how finitely additive moral value theories (such as utilitarianism) should rank worlds when there are an infinite number of locations of value (people, times, etc.). In the finite case, finitely additive theories satisfy both Weak Pareto and a strong anonymity condition. In the infinite case, however, these two conditions are incompatible, and thus a question arises as to which of these two conditions should be rejected. In a recent contribution, Hamkins and Montero (2000) have argued in favor of an anonymity-like isomorphism principle and against Weak Pareto. After casting doubt on their criticism of Weak Pareto, we show how it, in combination with certain other plausible principles, generates a plausible and fairly strong principle for the infinite case. We further show that where locations are the same in all worlds, but have no natural order, this principle turns out to be equivalent to a strengthening of a principle defended by Vallentyne and Kagan (1997), and also to a weakened version of the catching-up criterion developed by Atsumi (1965) and by von Weizs cker (1965).
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.
Volume (Year): 20 (2004)
Issue (Month): 02 (October)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU UK
Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_EAPProvider-Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Mabrouk, Mohamed B.R., 2008.
"Translation invariance when utility streams are infinite and unbounded,"
17664, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Oct 2009.
- Mohamed Ben Ridha Mabrouk, 2011. "Translation invariance when utility streams are infinite and unbounded," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 7(4), pages 317-329, December.
- Mabrouk, Mohamed, 2008. "Translation invariance when utility streams are infinite and unbounded," MPRA Paper 18523, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Oct 2009.
- Lauwers, Luc, 2010.
"Ordering infinite utility streams comes at the cost of a non-Ramsey set,"
Journal of Mathematical Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 32-37, January.
- Luc LAUWERS, 2009. "Ordering infinite utility streams comes at the cost of a non-Ramsey set," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces09.05, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
- Geir B, ASHEIM & Claude, D’ASPREMONT & Kuntal, BANERJEE, 2008.
"Generalized time-invariant overtaking,"
Discussion Papers (ECON - DÃ©partement des Sciences Economiques)
2008044, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
- Geir B. Asheim & Claude d’Aspremont & Kuntal Banerjee, 2008. "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," Working Papers 08004, Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University.
- ASHEIM, Geir B. & d’ASPREMONT, Claude & BANERJEE, Kuntal, . "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2239, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- ASHEIM, Geir B. & d’ASPREMONT, Claude & BANERJEE, Kuntal, 2008. "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," CORE Discussion Papers 2008065, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Geir B. , ASHEIM & Claude, DASPREMONT & Kuntal, BANERJEE, 2008. "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," Discussion Papers (ECON - DÃ©partement des Sciences Economiques) 2008039, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
- Asheim, Geir B. & d'Aspremont, Claude & Banerjee, Kuntal, 2008. "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 394, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.