Individual Utility in a Context of Asymetric Sensitivity to Pleasure and Pain: An Interpretation of Bentham's Felicific Calculus - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles European Journal of the History of Economic Thought Year : 2000

Individual Utility in a Context of Asymetric Sensitivity to Pleasure and Pain: An Interpretation of Bentham's Felicific Calculus

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Abstract

This paper aims at exploring, in a formal way, Bentham's statement that “the pleasure of gaining is not equal to the evil of losing”, which belongs to those aspects of the principle of utility left aside by Jevon's reconstruction. Consequently, the agent's preference order will be viewed as depending on his initial situation, and on asymmetric sensitivity to gains and losses, relative to this situation. This leads i) to discuss the coexistence of multiple preference orders, illustrated by Bentham's analysis of the optimal labour contract, and ii) to introduce true deliberation as a consequence of the gap between positive choice and rival assessments of utility.
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Dates and versions

hal-00344899 , version 1 (06-12-2008)

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  • HAL Id : hal-00344899 , version 1

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André Lapidus, Nathalie Sigot. Individual Utility in a Context of Asymetric Sensitivity to Pleasure and Pain: An Interpretation of Bentham's Felicific Calculus. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2000, 7 (1), pp.45-78. ⟨hal-00344899⟩
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