Coherence in Political Decisions between Incomparable Items
Keywords:Coherence, Incomparability, Incommensurability, Raz, Chang
AbstractThis paper raises doubt about the intuitive appeal of coherence in political decisions involving incomparable alternatives. Suppose that a legislature has to first decide between incomparable alternatives A and B and successively between incomparable alternatives C and D. C and D are, respectively, essentially like to A and B. It is intuitive that, no matter what alternative, A or B, is chosen in the first case, decision between C and D should be coherent, so that, if alternative A is chosen over B, C, which is essentially like A, ought to be chosen over D. However, by scrutinizing arguments by Joseph Raz and Ruth Chang, the paper shows that the attractiveness of coherence in cases of incomparability is hard to justify.
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