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(F)utility Exposed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-966
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

King's Authors


In recent years, several authors have called to ground descriptive and normative decision theory on neuropsychological measures of utility. In this article, I combine insights from the best available neuropsychological findings, leading philosophical conceptions of welfare, and contemporary decision theory to rebut these prominent calls. I argue for two claims of general interest to philosophers, choice modelers and policy makers. First, severe conceptual, epistemic, and evidential problems plague ongoing attempts to develop accurate and reliable neuropsychological measures of utility. Second, even if these problems are solved, neuropsychological measures of utility lack the potential to directly inform welfare analyses and policy evaluations.

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