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On modelling vagueness -- and on not modelling incommensurability

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  • Robert Sugden

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

This paper defines and analyses the concept of a 'ranking problem'. In a ranking problem, a set of objects, each of which possesses some common property P to some degree, are ranked by P-ness. I argue that every eligible answer to a ranking problem can be expressed as a complete and transitive 'is at least as P as' relation. Vagueness is expressed as a multiplicity of eligible rankings. Incommensurability, properly understood, is the absence of a common property P. Trying to analyse incommensurability in the same framework as ranking problems causes unnecessary confusion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) with number 09-13.

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Date of creation: 16 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:09-13

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  1. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
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