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Measuring UtilityFrom the Marginal Revolution to Behavioral Economics$
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Ivan Moscati

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199372768

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199372768.001.0001

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From Utility Measurement to the Representational Theory of Measurement

From Utility Measurement to the Representational Theory of Measurement

The Case of Suppes, 1950–1970

(p.247) chapter 15 From Utility Measurement to the Representational Theory of Measurement
Measuring Utility

Ivan Moscati

Oxford University Press

Chapter 15 offers a conclusion to the history of measurement theory by reconstructing the origins of the representational theory of measurement in the early work of Patrick Suppes. In particular, the chapter shows that Suppes’s superseding of the unit-based understanding of measurement that he had embraced in the early 1950s, his endorsement of a liberal definition of measurement à la Stanley Smith Stevens in the mid-1950s, his conceiving of the project of an axiomatic underpinning of this notion of measurement in the late 1950s, and the realization of this project during the 1960s all have their origins in the utility analysis research he conducted from 1953 to 1957 within the Stanford Value Theory Project. The representational theory of measurement received full-fledged expression in Foundations of Measurement (1971), a book coauthored by Suppes, Duncan Luce, David Krantz, and Amos Tversky, which quickly became the dominant theory of measurement.

Keywords:   Patrick Suppes, Stanford, Value Theory Project, utility differences, measurement theory, Stanley Smith Stevens, von Neumann–Morgenstern, R. Duncan Luce, Foundations of Measurement

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