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Human Rights

By Marc Fleurbaey, Maurice Salles, John A. Weymark

The utlitiarian economist and Nobel Laureate John Harsanyi and the liberal egalitarian thinker John Rawls have been of the main eminent students writing on difficulties of social justice within the final century. The contributions to this quantity, addressed to an interdisciplinary viewers, pay tribute to them by way of investigating issues that determine prominently of their paintings. often times, the individuals discover concerns thought of by means of Harsanyi and Rawls in additional intensity and from novel views. In others, the members use the paintings of Harsanyi and Rawls as issues of departure for pursuing the development of latest theories for the overview of social justice.

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Extra resources for Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls

Sample text

An alternative specifies which event occurs. As a consequence, probabilities and utilities are both assigned to the same kind of objects – events. Preferences are also over events. In the Bolker–Jeffrey theory with a finite number of states, there is a probability p(E ) and a utility U (E ) associated with each event E such that (i) the probability of an event is the sum of the probabilities of the states that comprise this event and (ii) the utility of an event is the expected utility of this event conditional on this event occuring for certain.

10 Thus, when the von Neumann–Morgenstern utility functions Ui are used, it appears that lotteries are socially ranked using a weighted sum of utilities, 10 Note that 3 U¯ i ( p) = Ui ( p). 11:5 P1: KAE CUFX199-01 CUFX199-Fleurbaey-v2 978 0 521 64093 0 18 February 20, 2008 Marc Fleurbaey, Maurice Salles, and John A. Weymark whereas when the utility functions U¯ i are used, it appears that lotteries are socially ranked using a weighted sum of the cube roots of utilities, even though in both cases the social ranking is the same.

In Savage’s version of this model, the number of states is infinite and sums are replaced by integrals when computing an expected utility. 11:5 P1: KAE CUFX199-01 CUFX199-Fleurbaey-v2 978 0 521 64093 0 20 February 20, 2008 Marc Fleurbaey, Maurice Salles, and John A. Weymark It evaluates outcomes x in X ex post once the uncertainty has been resolved. In contrast, the expected Bernoulli function EV evaluates alternatives x in X M ex ante, that is, before the resolution of the uncertainty. What Roemer shows is that the utilities obtained in different states play a role similar to that played by the utilities of different individuals in Harsanyi’s impartial observer theorem.

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