Utilitas

Research Article

Parity, Clumpiness and Rational Choice

MARTIN PETERSONa1

a1 University of Cambridge mbp24@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

Some philosophers believe that two objects of value can be ‘roughly equal’, or ‘on a par’, or belong to the same ‘clump’ of value in a sense that is fundamentally different from that in which some objects are ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, or ‘equally as good as’ others. This article shows that if two objects are on a par, or belong to the same clump, then an agent accepting a few plausible premises can be exploited in a money-pump. The central premise of the argument is that value is choice-guiding. If one object is more valuable than another, then it is not permitted to choose the less valuable object; and if two objects are equally valuable it is permitted to choose either of them; and if two objects are on a par or belong to the same clump it is also permitted to choose either of them.