Incommensurability and Commensuration: The Common Denominator
The Common Denominator
This book was published in 2003.This volume presents a detailed examination of incommensurability in the value-theoretical sense. Exploring how choosers deal with problems and constraints of choice, the author draws on work in cognitive psychology, in sociology, in jurisprudence, in economics, and in the theory of value to show how choosers learn to make "trade-offs" when there is potential incommensurability among the options they are considering. The analysis is also informed by recent work in the tradition of Michel Foucault. With so many modern devices and ideals of government dependent on the comparability of options, this book is timely and can inform public debate about de-regulation, user-pays, accountability, and the substitution of market mechanisms for government regulation and supply.