Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Heuristics and biases in a purported counter-example to the acyclicity of "better than"

Voorhoeve, Alex (2008) Heuristics and biases in a purported counter-example to the acyclicity of "better than". Politics, Philosophy and Economics, 7 (3). pp. 285-299. ISSN 1470-594X

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Stuart Rachels and Larry Temkin have offered a purported counter-example to the acyclicity of the relationship 'all things considered better than'. This example invokes our intuitive preferences over pairs of alternatives involving a single person's painful experiences of varying intensity and duration. These preferences, Rachels and Temkin claim, are confidently held, entirely reasonable, and cyclical. They conclude that we should drop acyclicity as a requirement of rationality. I argue that, together with the findings of recent research on the way people evaluate episodes of pain, the use of a heuristic known as similarity-based decision-making explains why our intuitive preferences may violate acyclicity in this example. I argue that this explanation should lead us to regard these preferences with suspicion, because it indicates that they may be the result of one or more biases. I conclude that Rachels' and Temkin's example does not provide sufficient grounds for rejecting acyclicity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://ppe.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2008 SAGE
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2009 20:01
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/21912/

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only