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metaethics, ideal advisor, preference aggregation, social choice, moral preferences


Preference-aggregation problems arise in various contexts. One such context, little explored by social choice theorists, is metaethical. “Ideal-advisor” accounts, which have played a major role in metaethics, propose that moral facts are constituted by the idealized preferences of a community of advisors. Such accounts give rise to a preference-aggregation problem: namely, aggregating the advisors’ moral preferences. Do we have reason to believe that the advisors, albeit idealized, can still diverge in their rankings of a given set of alternatives? If so, what are the moral facts (in particular, the comparative moral goodness of the alternatives) when the advisors do diverge? These questions are investigated here using the tools of Arrovian social choice theory.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Metaethics, Social choice, Preferences (Philosophy), Decision making