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  1. What does incommensurability tell us about agency?Luke Elson - 2021 - In Henrik Andersson & Anders Herlitz (eds.), Value Incommensurability: Ethics, Risk. And Decision-Making. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 181-198.
    Ruth Chang and Joseph Raz have both drawn far-reaching consequences for agency from the phenomenon of incommensurability. After criticizing their arguments, I outline an alternative view: if incommensurability is vagueness, then there are no substantial implications for agency, except perhaps a limited form of naturalistic voluntarism if our reasons are provided by desires.
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  • An Ignorance Account of Hard Choices.Daniel Https://Orcidorg624X Villiger - 2022 - Res Philosophica 99 (3):321-337.
    Ignorance is said to be the most widely accepted explanation of what makes choices hard (Chang 2017). But despite its apparent popularity, the debate on hard choices has been dominated by tetrachotomist (e.g., “parity”) and vagueness views. In fact, there is no elaborate ignorance account of hard choices. This article closes this research gap. In so doing, it connects the debate on hard choices with that on transformative experiences (Paul 2014). More precisely, an option’s transformative character can prevent us from (...)
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  • Superhard Choices.Miguel F. Dos Santos - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):248-265.
    Sometimes, when comparing a pair of items, it appears that neither is better than the other, nor that they are equally good, relative to a certain value that they bear. Cases of this kind have come to be referred to as superhard comparisons. What grounds superhard comparisons? On the dominant views, held by Joseph Raz and Ruth Chang, they are grounded, at least partially, in the failure of the three classic value relations—‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. On an (...)
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  • Degrees of commensurability and the repugnant conclusion.Alan Hájek & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2021 - Noûs 56 (4):897-919.
    Two objects of valuation are said to be incommensurable if neither is better than the other, nor are they equally good. This negative, coarse-grained characterization fails to capture the nuanced structure of incommensurability. We argue that our evaluative resources are far richer than orthodoxy recognizes. We model value comparisons with the corresponding class of permissible preference orderings. Then, making use of our model, we introduce a potentially infinite set of degrees of approximation to better, worse, and equally good, which we (...)
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  • Classifying comparability problems in a way that matters.Anders Herlitz & Henrik Andersson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-19.
    How should one understand comparisons in which neither of two alternatives is at least as good as the other? Much recent literature on comparability problems focuses on what the appropriate explanation of the phenomenon is. Is it due to vagueness or the possibility of non-conventional comparative relations such as parity? This paper argues that the discussions on how to best explain comparability problems has reached an impasse at which it is hard to make any progress. To advance the discussion we (...)
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  • Does the Collapsing Principle Rule Out Borderline Cases?Johan E. Gustafsson - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (4):483-492.
    If ‘F’ is a predicate, then ‘Fer than’ or ‘more F than’ is a corresponding comparative relational predicate. Concerning such comparative relations, John Broome’s Collapsing Principle states that, for any x and y, if it is false that y is Fer than x and not false that x is Fer than y, then it is true that x is Fer than y. Luke Elson has recently put forward two alleged counter-examples to this principle, allegedly showing that it yields contradictions if (...)
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  • Epistemicism and Commensurability.Paul Forrester - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Abstract: The topic for this paper is the phenomenon of apparent value incommensurability—two goods are apparently incommensurable when it appears that neither is better than the other nor are they equally good. I shall consider three theories of this phenomenon. Indeterminists like Broome (1997) hold that the phenomenon is due to vagueness: when two goods appear to be incommensurable, this owes to the fact that “better than” is vague. Incommensurabilists like Chang (2002) hold that some goods appear to be incommensurable (...)
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  • Incommensurability as vagueness: a burden-shifting argument.Luke Elson - 2017 - Theoria 83 (4):341-363.
    Two options are ‘incommensurate’ when neither is better than the other, but they are not equally good. Typically, we will say that one option is better in some ways, and the other in others, but neither is better ‘all things considered’. It is tempting to think that incommensurability is vagueness—that it is (perhaps) indeterminate which is better—but this ‘vagueness view’ of incommensurability has not proven popular. I set out the vagueness view and its implications in more detail, and argue that (...)
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  • The Case for Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - 2023 - Noûs 57 (2):414-453.
    We argue that all comparative expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are at least as F as themselves, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns (...)
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  • Vague Comparisons.Cristian Constantinescu - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):357-377.
    Some comparisons are hard. How should we think about such comparisons? According to John Broome, we should think about them in terms of vagueness. But the vagueness account has remained unpopular thus far. Here I try to bolster it by clarifying the notion of comparative vagueness that lies at its heart.
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  • Propping Up the Collapsing Principle.Henrik Andersson - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):475-486.
    According to a standard account of incomparability, two value bearers are incomparable if it is false that there holds a positive value relation between them. Due to the vagueness of the comparative predicates it may also be indeterminate as to which relation that holds - for each relation it is neither true nor false that it holds. John Broome has argued that indeterminacy cannot coexist with incomparability and since there seems to exist indeterminacy there cannot exist incomparability. At the core (...)
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  • A More Plausible Collapsing Principle.Henrik Andersson & Anders Herlitz - 2018 - Theoria 84 (4):325-336.
    In 1997 John Broome presented the Collapsing Argument that was meant to establish that non-conventional comparative relations cannot exist. Broome's argument has faced a lot of scrutiny and a certain type of counterexample has been used to undermine it. Most of the counterexamples focus on the Collapsing Principle which plays a central role in Broome's argument. In this article we will take a closer look at the most common type of counterexample and propose how to adjust the Collapsing Principle in (...)
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  • How It All Relates : Exploring the Space of Value Comparisons.Henrik Andersson - 2017 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis explores whether the three standard value relations, “better than”, “worse than” and “equally as good”, exhaust the possibilities in which things can relate with respect to their value. Or more precisely, whether there are examples in which one of these relations is not instantiated. There are cases in which it is not obvious that one of these relations does obtain; these are referred to as “hard cases of comparison”. These hard cases of comparison become interesting, since if it (...)
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