Making Interpersonal Comparisons Coherently

Economics and Philosophy 6 (2):293 (1990)


Many ethical theories, including in particular consequentialist moral the ories, require comparisons of the amount of good possessed or received by different people. In the case of some goods, such as monetary income, wealth, education, or health, such comparisons are relatively unproblematic. Even in the case of such goods there may be serious empirical measurement problems, but there appear to be no difficulties in principle. Thus Cooter and Rappoport maintained that there was no serious difficulty of making interpersonal utility comparisons for an earlier generation of economists who regarded utility as an index of “material welfare.”

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Daniel Hausman
University of Wisconsin, Madison

References found in this work

Morality and the Theory of Rational Behavior.John Harsanyi - 1977 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 44 (4):623-656.
Primary Goods'.John Rawls - 1982 - In Amartya Kumar Sen & Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (eds.), Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge University Press.

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