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Foundations of Social Choice Theory : Studies in Rationality and Social Change - Jon Elster

Foundations of Social Choice Theory

Studies in Rationality and Social Change

Paperback Published: 2nd April 1990
ISBN: 9780521389136
Number Of Pages: 260

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The essays in this volume, first published in 1986, examine the philosophical foundations of social choice theory. This field, a modern and sophisticated outgrowth of welfare economics, is best known for a series of impossibility theorems, of which the first and most crucial was proved by Kenneth Arrow in 1950. That has often been taken to show the impossibility of democracy as a procedure for making collective decisions. However, this interpretation is challenged by several of the contributors here. Other central issues discussed in the volume include the possibility of making interpersonal comparisons of utility, the question of whether all preferences are equally to be valued, and the normative individualism underlying the theoretical tradition. Criticisms of social choice theory are advanced and suggestions for alternative approaches are developed.

Notes on contributors
Lady Chatterley's Lover and Doctor Fischer's Bomb Party: liberalism, Pareto optimality and the problem of objectionable preferences
The purpose and significance of social choice theory: some general remarks and an application to the 'Lady Chatterley problem'
Laundering preferences
The market and the forum: three varieties of political theory
An historical materialist alternative to welfarism
Interpersonal comparisons: preference, good and the intrinsic reward of a life
Judging interpersonal interests
Foundations of social choice theory: an epilogue
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521389136
ISBN-10: 0521389135
Series: Studies in Rationality and Social Change
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 260
Published: 2nd April 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.44 x 13.97  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.27