What Preferences Really Are
Philosophy of Science, Forthcoming
35 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 16, 2018
Daniel M. Hausman holds that preferences in economics are total subjective comparative evaluations – subjective judgments to the effect that something is better than something else all things told – and that economists are right to employ this conception of preference. Here, I argue against both parts of Hausman’s thesis. The failure of Hausman’s account, I continue, reflects a deeper problem, viz., that preferences in economics do not need an explicit definition of the kind that he seeks. Nonetheless, Hausman’s labors were not in vain: his accomplishment is that he has articulated a useful model of the theory.
Keywords: Preferences, Utility, Welfare
JEL Classification: B21, B41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation