Fundamental axioms for preference relations

Synthese 18 (4):423 - 442 (1968)


The basic theory of preference relations contains a trivial part reflected by axioms A1 and A2, which say that preference relations are preorders. The next step is to find other axims which carry the theory beyond the level of the trivial. This paper is to a great part a critical survey of such suggested axioms. The results are much in the negative — many proposed axioms imply too strange theorems to be acceptable as axioms in a general theory of preference. This does not exclude, of course, that they may well be reasonable axioms for special calculi of preference. I believe that many axioms which are rejected here may be plausible if their range of application is restricted by conditions which are possible to formulate only in a language richer than that of the propositional calculus, e.g. in one containing modal operators or probabilistic concepts

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References found in this work

On the Logic of "Intrinsically Better".Roderick M. Chisholm & Ernest Sosa - 1966 - American Philosophical Quarterly 3 (3):244-249.

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Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Value.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Law and Logic.Stig Kanger - 1972 - Theoria 38 (3):105-132.
Reasoning About Preference Dynamics.Fenrong Liu - 2011 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer Verlag.

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