Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Handbook of Rational and Social Choice$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Anand, Prasanta Pattanaik, and Clemens Puppe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290420

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290420.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2020

Rationality and Intransitive Preference *

Rationality and Intransitive Preference *


The Handbook of Rational and Social Choice

Paul Anand (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of what has been called by philosophers the “modern view“ of formal rational choice by focussing on the arguments relating to rational agency and transitive (intransitive) preference. In particular it demonstrates that the logical and semantic arguments are either question‐begging or incomplete. Suggesting that static and dynamic justifications of transitivity are essentially distinct, it identifies a number of problems with the standard money‐pump argument that purports to show why rational agents' preferences are necessarily constrained to have the transitivity property. Subsequently, constructive examples indicating how and when rational agents would want to exhibit intransitive preferences are discussed and finally some of the more recent explicitly game‐theoretic treatments of the argument are discussed. It concludes by suggesting that expected utility should be regarded as a model of context‐free choice, and that a wide range of more general models with the ability to reflect the structure of preference should be seen as modelling rational phenomena.

Keywords:   transitivity, intransitive preference, rational choice, formal theory, axioms, expected utility, non‐expected utility, context, regret, Fishburn, skew‐symmetric utility, money pumps

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .