PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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The Nature of Preferences

Daniel M. Hausman’s 2012 book Preference, Value, Choice, and Welfare defends the thesis (i) that preferences in economics are “total subjective comparative evaluations” – judgments to the effect that one option is superior to another one taking into account every relevant consideration – and (ii) that economists are right to employ this concept of preference. This paper argues against both parts of Hausman’s thesis: economists are not well understood as thinking of preferences in terms of total subjective comparative evaluations, and it would be a mistake for economists to adopt such a conception. 

Author Information:

Erik Angner    
Department of Philosophy
Stockholm University


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