Value Incommensurability : Ethics, Risk, and Decision-Making book cover
1st Edition

Value Incommensurability
Ethics, Risk, and Decision-Making

ISBN 9780367702182
Published December 14, 2021 by Routledge
278 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Incommensurability is the impossibility to determine how two options relate to each other in terms of conventional comparative relations. This book features new research on incommensurability from philosophers who have shaped the field into what it is today, including John Broome, Ruth Chang and Wlodek Rabinowicz.

The book covers four aspects relating to incommensurability. In the first part, the contributors synthesize research on the competing views of how to best explain incommensurability. Part II illustrates how incommensurability can help us deal with seemingly insurmountable problems in ethical theory and population ethics. The contributors address the Repugnant Conclusion, the Mere Addition Paradox and so-called Spectrum Arguments. The chapters in Part III outline and summarize problems caused by incommensurability for decision theory. Finally, Part IV tackles topics related to risk, uncertainty and incommensurability.

Value Incommensurability: Ethics, Risk, and Decision-Making will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working in ethical theory, decision theory, action theory, and philosophy of economics.

Table of Contents


Henrik Andersson and Anders Herlitz

Part I: Accounts of Incommensurability

1. Incommensurability is Vagueness

John Broome

2. Are Hard Cases Vague Cases? 

Ruth Chang

3. Parity without Imprecise Equality

Chrisoula Andreou

Part II: Incommensurability and Ethical Theory

4. On "Incommensurability,"Discontinuity," and the Repugnant Conclusion: "Imprecise Equality" or Vagueness?

Mozaffar Qizilbash

5. Spectrum Arguments, Indeterminacy, and Value Superiority

Henrik Andersson

6. Incommensurability and Vagueness in Population Axiology

Gustaf Arrhenius

Part III: Incommensurability and Decision Theory

7. Nondeterminacy and Reasonable Choice

Anders Herlitz

8. Cross-Categorical Value Comparisons

Krister Bykvist

9. What Does Incommensurability Tell Us about Agency?

Luke Elson

Part IV: Incommensurability, Risk and Uncertainty

10. Incommensurability Meets Risk

Wlodek Rabinowicz

11. Incommensurability That Can(not) Be ignored

Katie Steele

12. Hard Choices Made Harder

Ryan Doody

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Henrik Andersson is a postdoc at Lund University. His research has had a focus on value theory and especially the phenomenon of value incommensurability. In his current research project, he applies recent results from value theory in order to address the hard choices we face when we aim to combat climate change.

Anders Herlitz is a researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies in Stockholm. His research focuses on comparability problems and rational choice, especially in relation to distributive theory. He is currently working on a monograph addressing how to distribute scarce health resources.