Value Superiority

In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. New York, USA: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 225-248 (2015)
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Suppose that A and B are two kinds of goods such that more of each is better than less. A is strongly superior to B if any amount of A is better than any amount of B. It is weakly superior to B if some amount of A is better than any amount of B. There are many examples of these relations in the literature, sometimes under the labels “higher goods” and “discontinuity.” The chapter gives a precise and generalized statement of Strong and Weak Superiority and discusses different ways in which these relations can be relevant to the aggregation of welfare. It also proves a number of general results. One of the results gives rise to a dilemma: It can be used as an argument against the existence of value superiority or, alternatively, as an argument against the view that superiority entails a radical difference in value.



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Author Profiles

Gustaf Arrhenius
Stockholm University
Wlodek Rabinowicz
Lund University

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