Preference, Deliberation and Satisfaction

31 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2004

See all articles by Philip N. Pettit

Philip N. Pettit

Princeton University; Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Date Written: July 2004


What is preference? And how does preference formation relate to deliberation? The paper offers an account of preference in the first section, deliberation in the second, and then attempts to show how the two relate. The main idea is that while deliberation leads us towards the option for which we have the strongest preference, that does not mean that we are generally focussed on how options promise to satisfy our preferences. The option we come to prefer is preferred most strongly because it proves in deliberation to have the strongest support, not the other way around.

Suggested Citation

Pettit, Philip N., Preference, Deliberation and Satisfaction (July 2004). Princeton Law & Public Affairs Paper No. 04-021; Cambridge, Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Philip N. Pettit (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

305 Marx Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-4759 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)


Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200

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