Humanly rational choice 3 (why we care about others)

According to a well-known version of the instrumental model, rational choice consists of maximizing one’s utility, or more precisely, maximizing one’s utility subject to a budget constraint. We seek the point of highest utility lying within our limited means. The term “utility” could mean a lot of different things, but in recent times theorists have often taken it to mean something related to or even identical to preference satisfaction (and thus utility functions are sometimes called preference functions). To have a preference is to care, to want one alternative more than another.  This essay is for those who want to go beyond the instrumental model's agnosticism about ends and get after the question of whether beings with a human psychology thereby have reasons for embracing some ends rather than others. 

See Ian Maitland's essay.  Link below

Subject Area: 
Published in: Social Philosophy and Policy
1993

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