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Law, Economics, and Morality$
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Eyal Zamir and Barak Medina

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372168

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372168.001.0001

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Constructing Threshold Functions

Constructing Threshold Functions

(p.79) four Constructing Threshold Functions
Law, Economics, and Morality



Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses various substantive and methodological choices involved in formalizing deontological constraints and options. It proposes to determine the permissibility of any act or rule infringing a deontological constraint by means of a threshold function. It outlines the scope of this proposal by describing the role of threshold functions within a broader context that may involve conflicting constraints and require a choice between several deontologically permissible acts. It then delineates the general structure of threshold functions. To capture the essence of deontological constraints, threshold functions set the magnitude and shape of the threshold, as well as the types of costs and benefits that are taken into account in determining whether the act's (or rule's) net benefit meets the threshold. The construction of threshold functions for deontological options is also discussed.

Keywords:   threshold function, modeling, cost-benefit analysis, constraints, options, lexical priority, additive threshold, multiplier threshold, combined threshold

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