Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

18 p.

Publication Date

Summer 1992

Publisher

Ad Libros Publishing Inc.

Source Publication

Journal of Income Distribution

Source ISSN

0926-6437

Abstract

While interpersonal utility comparisons are indispensable to the determination of utility maxima, their interpretation as either normative or positive produces awkward conclusions. This paper alternatively reinterprets interpersonal utility comparisons as descriptive and value-laden rather than as either normative or positive. On this basis they are characterized as functional concepts, and are thus argued to be objective. This treatment suggests that it is possible to derive evaluative statements from descriptive ones, contrary to the usual view of the is-ought problem. Recent philosophy of language results are employed to support these views.

Comments

Published version. Journal of Income Distribution, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 1992): 73-90. Publisher Link. © Ad Libros Publishing Inc. 1992. Used with permission.

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Economics Commons

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