Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Internal or External Grounds for the Nontransitivity of “Better/Worse than”

Ingmar Persson


In his book Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical
Reasoning Larry Temkin contrasts two views of ideals for evaluating outcomes:
the Internal Aspects View and the Essentially Comparative View. He claims
that the latter view can make the relation of being better/worse than all things
considered nontransitive, while the former can’t. This paper argues that the
Internal Aspects View can also be a source of nontransitivity. The gist of the
argument is that perfect similarity as regards supervenient properties, like
value, is compatible with differences as regards their subvenient properties
and that it’s logically possible that such sets of insufficient differences add up
to differences that are sufficient for supervenient differences. Thus, perfect
similarity or identity is nontransitive as regards the supervenient property of
value, and this implies that the relation of being better/worse than all things
considered is also nontransitive.

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.