Economics and Philosophy



Essay

SYMPATHY, COMMITMENT, AND PREFERENCE


DANIEL M. HAUSMAN a1
a1 University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Abstract

While very much in Sen's camp in rejecting revealed preference theory and emphasizing the complexity, incompleteness, and context dependence of preference and the intellectual costs of supposing that all the factors influencing choice can be captured by a single notion of preference, this essay contests his view that economists should recognize multiple notions of preference. It argues that Sen's concerns are better served by embracing a single conception of preference and insisting on the need for analysis of the multiple factors that determine ‘preference’ so conceived.