The small improvement argument

Synthese 165 (1):127 - 139 (2008)
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It is commonly assumed that moral deliberation requires that the alternatives available in a choice situation are evaluatively comparable. This comparability assumption is threatened by claims of incomparability, which is often established by means of the small improvement argument (SIA). In this paper I argue that SIA does not establish incomparability in a stricter sense. The reason is that it fails to distinguish incomparability from a kind of evaluative indeterminacy which may arise due to the vagueness of the evaluative comparatives ‘better than,’ ‘worse than,’ and ‘equally as good as.’.



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Nicolas Espinoza
Stockholm University

Citations of this work

Hard Choices.Ruth Chang - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1):1-21.
On parity and the intuition of neutrality.Mozaffar Qizilbash - 2018 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (1):87-108.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1996 - New York: Routledge.
Weighing lives.John Broome - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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