ON PREFERENCE AND FREEDOM

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

We consider the role of preferences in the assessment of an agent's freedom, visualized as the opportunity for choice. After discussing several possible intuitive approaches to the problem, we explore an approach based on the notion of preference orderings that a reasonable person may possibly have. Using different sets of axioms, we characterize the rules for ranking opportunity sets in terms of freedom. We also show that certain axioms for ranking opportunity sets are incompatible.

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