The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophical and Psychological Foundations of Utility (Hardcover)

The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophical and Psychological Foundations of Utility By Louis Narens, Brian Skyrms Cover Image

The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophical and Psychological Foundations of Utility (Hardcover)

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Utilitarianism began as a movement for social reform that changed the world, based on the ideal of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. There is a tendency to enter into debates for and against the ethical doctrine of Utilitarianism without a clear understanding of its basic concepts. The Pursuit of Happiness now offers a rigorous account of the foundations of Utilitarianism, and vividly sets out possible ways forward for its future development.

To understand Utilitarianism, we must understand utility: how is it to be measured, and how the aggregate utility of a group can be understood. Louis Narens and Brian Skyrms, respectively a cognitive scientist and a philosopher, pursue these questions by adopting both formal and historical methods, examining theories of measuring utility from Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the Utilitarian movement, to the present day, taking in psychophysics, positivism, measurement theory, meaningfulness, neuropsychology, representation theorems, and the dynamics of formation of conventions. On this basis, Narens and Skyrms argue that a meaningful form of Utilitarianism that can coordinate action in social groups is possible through interpersonal comparison and the formation of conventions.
Louis Narens, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California, Irvine, Brian Skyrms, Distinguished Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine Louis Narens is Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Abstract Measurement Theory (MIT 1985) and Introduction to the Theories of Measurement and Meaningfulness and the Use of Invariance in Science (Lawrence Erlbaum 2007). Brian Skyrms is Distinguished Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science and Economics at the University of California, Irvine. His interests include the evolution of conventions, the social contract, inductive logic, decision theory, rational deliberation, the metaphysics of logical atomism, causality, and truth. He is the author of Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information (OUP 2010), From Zeno to Arbitrage: Essays on Quantity, Coherence, and Induction (OUP 2012), and Social Dynamics (OUP 2014).
Product Details ISBN: 9780198856450
ISBN-10: 0198856458
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: December 8th, 2020
Pages: 208
Language: English