F.Y. Edgeworth’s Mathematical Psychics and his Utilitarianism: The Derivation from the ‘Sidgwick-Barratt Controversy’
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that Edgeworth’s Mathematical Psychics (1881) has been influenced by various intellectual contemporaries through the ‘Sidgwick-Barratt Controversy’. Under the influence of Barratt, Edgeworth admitted the physical methods of ethics; which is clear from his adoption of the ‘Fechner’s Law’ to measure the quantity of pleasure. Through the analysis of the contract between egoistic agents, Edgeworth also attempted to prove the need of utilitarianism as the solution to Sicgwick’s ‘Dualism of Practical Reasons’. Since Edgeworth asserted that the capacity for pleasure is different among people, criticizing ‘equality’ tacitly implied in utilitarianism, he admitted ‘exact Utilitarianism’ which allowed unequal distribution as the ‘distributive justice’ for the greatest happiness of the society. Thus Edgeworth’s Mathematical Psychics is not only the economic but also ethical work influenced by ‘Sidgwick-Barratt Controversy’.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2008|
|Date of revision:||Mar 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1-155 Uegahara Ichiban-cho, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 662-8501|
Web page: http://www-econ.kwansei.ac.jp/~econ/index_e.html
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alberto Baccini, 2007.
"Edgeworth on the foundations of ethics and probability,"
The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 79-96.
- Alberto Baccini, 2004. "Edgeworth on the Foundations of Ethics and Probability," Department of Economics University of Siena 427, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
- John Creedy, 1980. "Some Recent Interpretations of Mathematical Psychics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 267-276, Summer.
- Collard, David, 1975. "Edgeworth's Propositions on Altruism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 85(338), pages 355-360, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kgu:wpaper:37. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Toshihiro Okada)
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.