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Becker’s thesis and three models of preference change

Bradley, Richard (2009) Becker’s thesis and three models of preference change. Politics, Philosophy and Economics, 8 (2). pp. 223-242. ISSN 1470-594X

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Abstract

This article examines Becker's thesis that the hypothesis that choices maximize expected utility relative to fixed and universal tastes provides a general framework for the explanation of behaviour. Three different models of preference revision are presented and their scope evaluated. The first, the classical conditioning model, explains all changes in preferences in terms of changes in the information held by the agent, holding fundamental beliefs and desires fixed. The second, the Jeffrey conditioning model, explains them in terms of changes in both the information held by the agent and changes in her prior beliefs, holding her fundamental desires fixed. The final model, that of generalized conditioning, allows for explanations in terms of changes in the values of all three variables.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://ppe.sagepub.com/
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2009 14:01
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22207/

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