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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thought for the Day

From  the ad for this issue of Decision Analysis, an INFORMS Journal:
“If the criterion of what the individual considers ‘good’ were not in some sense fixed, making his decisions ‘consistent,’ it would not be ascertainable whether a good use is or is not made of available alternatives, and the word economic would therefore be meaningless.” (Marschak and Radner). This is how Keller starts the latest issue of Decision Analysis.
Read more http://ow.ly/7ZbZS (Well, actually, you can’t because Decision Analysis is for subscribers only – I’m not one – and since this is an academic journal this may be the only understandable sentence in it.)

I’m not sure whether I agree with this. It has a nice ring of natural-law ethics in it, if you want to see it there.

I’m not sure whether I disagree with it. I’m not sure our senses of “good” are that much developed.

I’m not sure whether the entire quote is relatively meaningless. The sense of “good” doesn’t have to be a moral one, but can be an “economic” one, which is a lot different.  And “in some sense fixed” could be taken to be “isn’t completely random and changing from moment to moment”.