Theory and Decision

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 257–280 | Cite as

Interpersonal dependency of preferences

  • Julian Nida-Rümelin
  • Thomas Schmidt
  • Axel Munk


Standard decision theoretic models disregard the phenomenon of interpersonal dependency of preferences. In this paper it is argued that interpersonal dependency of preferences is a serious challenge for standard utility theory. First we sketch the more philosophical aspects of the problem and then, using a simple, formal model for the two-person case, we show that interpersonal dependency of preferences generally results in indeterminacy of preferences (resp. of subjective utility).

Key words

Preference decision theory utility rationality 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Nida-Rümelin
    • 1
  • Thomas Schmidt
    • 1
  • Axel Munk
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophisches Seminar, Georg-August- Universität GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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