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On modelling vagueness -- and on not modelling incommensurability


  • Robert Sugden

    (University of East Anglia)


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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  • Robert Sugden, 2009. "On modelling vagueness -- and on not modelling incommensurability," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-13, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:09-13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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 805-824, December.
    2. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702, June.
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