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Journal Article

Against Anonymous Pareto

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Fish, E. (2019). Against Anonymous Pareto. Utilitas, 31(1), 3-19. doi:10.1017/S0953820818000134.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-8023-D
The principle known as ‘anonymous Pareto’ has it that an alternative A is better than another, B, in case it is (strictly, non-anonymously) Pareto superior to either B or a permutation of it. It is an attractive idea, offering to apply Pareto-based judgments to a broader range of cases while preserving some of the intuitive appeal of the standard, more familiar principle. This essay considers some ways in which anonymous Pareto is defended and argues against each separately, as well as in more general lines. It suggests that the reasons in light of which people find strict Pareto so compelling are the reasons for doubting the anonymous variation of that principle.