Extending the Original Position: Revisiting the Pattanaik Critique of Vickrey/Harsanyi Utilitarianism

Harsanyi’s original position treats personal identity, upon which each individual’s utility depends, as risky. Pattanaik’s critique is related to the problem of scaling “state-dependent” von Neumann–Morgenstern utility when determining subjective probabilities. But a unique social welfare functional, incorporating both level and unit interpersonal comparisons, emerges from contemplating an “extended” original position allowing the probability of becoming each person to be chosen. Moreover, the paper suggests the relevance of a “Harsanyi ethical type space”, with types as both causes and objects of preference.


Issue Date:
2013
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270541
Language:
English
Total Pages:
24
Series Statement:
WERP 1008




 Record created 2018-04-03, last modified 2018-04-03

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