Hausman and McPherson on welfare economics and preference satisfaction theories of welfare: A critical note

Economics and Philosophy 31 (1):141-159 (2015)
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Hausman and McPherson defend welfare economics by claiming that even if welfare does not consist in preference satisfaction, preferences still provide good, if fallible, evidence of welfare. I argue that this strategy does not yet fully solve the problems for welfare economics stemming from the preference satisfaction theory of welfare. More work is needed to show that our self-interested preferences are sufficiently reliable, or in some other sense our best, evidence of well-being. Thus, my aim is to identify the challenges that remain and clarify what additional work is needed before Hausman and McPherson's defence of welfare economics succeeds.



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Alexander Sarch
University of Surrey

References found in this work

Welfare and Rational Care.Stephen Darwall - 2002 - Princeton University Press.
Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1998 - Mind 109 (434):373-377.
The problem of defective desires.Chris Heathwood - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.

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