In Lawrence C. Becker Mary Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, Volume 2. Routledge (2001)

Authors
Stuart Rachels
University of Alabama
Abstract
According to Transitivity, if A is better than B, and B is better than C, then A is better than C. We may understand “better than” as short for any of the following: “intrinsically better than,” “all things considered better than,” “hedonically better than,” and “better for a person than.” The same puzzle arises on each interpretation. Transitivity seems entrenched in our conceptual scheme, if not analytically true; its failure implies, implausibly, that some possibilities cannot be ranked in terms of value; scads of three-member sets inductively confirm it; and hypothetical money-pumpers coax its detractors out of house and home by proffering a series of trades—C for A, B for C and A for B (and then repeating the cycle)—for an endlessly accumulating price. Nevertheless, two highly plausible principles entail that Transitivity is false.
Keywords Transitivity  Intransitivity  betterness
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References found in this work BETA

Intransitivity of Preferences.Amos Tversky - 1969 - Psychological Review 76 (1):31-48.
Overpopulation and the Quality of Life.Derek Parfit - 1986 - In Peter Singer (ed.), Applied Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 145-164.
Intransitivity and the Mere Addition Paradox.Larry S. Temkin - 1987 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 16 (2):138-187.
Comparing Harms: Headaches and Human Lives.Alastair Norcross - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (2):135-167.

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Citations of this work BETA

Six Theses About Pleasure.Stuart Rachels - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):247-267.
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