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On Millian Discontinuities

Rabinowicz, Wlodek LU and Arrhenius, Gustaf (2003) In Patterns of Value - Essays on Formal Axiology and Value Analysis 1. p.1-8
Abstract
Suppose one sets up a sequence of less-and-less valuable objects such that each object in the sequence is only marginally worse than its immediate predecessor. Could one in this way arrive at something that is dramatically inferior to the point of departure? It has been claimed that if there is a radical value difference between the objects at each end of the sequence, then at some point there must be a corresponding radical difference between the adjacent elements. The underlying picture seems to be that a radical gap cannot be scaled by a series of steps, if none of the steps itself is radical. We show that this picture is incorrect on a stronger interpretation of value superiority, but correct on a weaker one. Thus, the conclusion we... (More)
Suppose one sets up a sequence of less-and-less valuable objects such that each object in the sequence is only marginally worse than its immediate predecessor. Could one in this way arrive at something that is dramatically inferior to the point of departure? It has been claimed that if there is a radical value difference between the objects at each end of the sequence, then at some point there must be a corresponding radical difference between the adjacent elements. The underlying picture seems to be that a radical gap cannot be scaled by a series of steps, if none of the steps itself is radical. We show that this picture is incorrect on a stronger interpretation of value superiority, but correct on a weaker one. Thus, the conclusion we reach is that, in some sense at least, abrupt breaks in such decreasing sequences cannot be avoided, but that such unavoidable breaks are less drastic than it has been suggested. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Patterns of Value - Essays on Formal Axiology and Value Analysis
editor
Rabinowicz, Wlodek; Rønnow-Rasmussen, Toni; and
volume
1
pages
1 - 8
publisher
Department of Philosophy, Lund University
ISSN
1404-3718
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
74fb0d0c-3752-448f-bdab-8429a3598cfe (old id 774291)
date added to LUP
2008-01-28 08:59:54
date last changed
2016-04-16 03:03:01
@inbook{74fb0d0c-3752-448f-bdab-8429a3598cfe,
  abstract     = {Suppose one sets up a sequence of less-and-less valuable objects such that each object in the sequence is only marginally worse than its immediate predecessor. Could one in this way arrive at something that is dramatically inferior to the point of departure? It has been claimed that if there is a radical value difference between the objects at each end of the sequence, then at some point there must be a corresponding radical difference between the adjacent elements. The underlying picture seems to be that a radical gap cannot be scaled by a series of steps, if none of the steps itself is radical. We show that this picture is incorrect on a stronger interpretation of value superiority, but correct on a weaker one. Thus, the conclusion we reach is that, in some sense at least, abrupt breaks in such decreasing sequences cannot be avoided, but that such unavoidable breaks are less drastic than it has been suggested.},
  author       = {Rabinowicz, Wlodek and Arrhenius, Gustaf},
  editor       = {Rabinowicz, Wlodek and Rønnow-Rasmussen, Toni},
  issn         = {1404-3718},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1--8},
  publisher    = {Department of Philosophy, Lund University},
  series       = {Patterns of Value - Essays on Formal Axiology and Value Analysis},
  title        = {On Millian Discontinuities},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2003},
}