A welfarist version of Harsanyi's aggregation theorem
Harsanyi’s Aggregation Theorem has often been dismissed as being irrelevant to utilitarianism, and thus void of ethical content. Some of these objections can be met by reformulating Harsanyi’s theorem in the multi-profile context of Social Welfare Functionals theory. The present paper aims at showing that appropriately formulated single-profile variants of the theorem also meet the objections, and thus arguably make sense in terms of utilitarianism. More precisely, using an “enlarged” single-profile approach, we derive a Harsanyi-like representation which is both anonymous and compatible with meaningful comparisons of cardinal utility functions. These results depend on reformulating Harsanyi’s aggregation theorem in the social-choice theoretic framework of welfarism.
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|Date of creation:|
|Note:||In : M. Fleurbaey, M. Salles and J.A. Weymark (eds.), Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism. New York, Cambridge University Press, 184-197, 2008|
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