Opaque Sweetening and Transitivity

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):559-571 (2019)
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Abstract

I argue that any plausible decision theory for agents with incomplete preferences which obeys the Never Worse Principle will violate Transitivity. The Never Worse Principle says that if one option never does worse than another, you shouldn’t disprefer it. Transitivity says that if you prefer X to Y and you prefer Y to Z, then you should prefer X to Z. Violating Transitivity allows one to be money pumped. Although agents with incomplete preferences are already, in virtue of having incomplete preferences, vulnerable to being money pumped, I argue that the money pump argument for Transitivity is more serious than the one for Completeness.

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Ryan Doody
Brown University

Citations of this work

The hard problem of intertheoretic comparisons.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1401-1427.
Rational Intransitive Preferences.Peter Baumann - 2022 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (1):3-28.
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.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Truth and probability.Frank Ramsey - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. New York: Routledge. pp. 52-94.
Weighing lives.John Broome - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Hard Choices.Ruth Chang - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1):1-21.

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