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Which option is better to choose, Choose The Better Option - Wisdom Hunters

Find out more Some parents urge their children to be the best in everything they do.

Choose The Better Option

They push them to be the best athlete, and the best scholar, and the best musician, and so on. Other parents urge their children to pursue whatever they are best at, whether it be athletics, academics or music. Some parents push their children to try their best. Still others try hard not to push their children to be the best, or even to try to be their best, because they worry about the psychological damage that such messages might cause.

But most parents love their children, and however they raise them, they are trying the best they can on their behalf.

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After all, most parents genuinely want what is best for their children — they just have different conceptions of what that requires. In seeking what is best for their children, most parents are implicitly buying into what has been the dominant view of individual rationality, at least in the West, since the time of the Greeks.

Built into the standard conception of rationality are two fundamental assumptions. The first is that there is a best way for any life to be.

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The Axiom of Transitivity for Better Than generates a decision procedure for identifying the best of any finite set of options. Compare them two at a time. If the first is better, throw the second out. Then compare the third with the first. If which option is better to choose third is better, throw the first out.

Proceed in this way, always choosing the best of which option is better to choose set of two alternatives. On this basis, if the Axiom of Transitivity for Better Than is true, we can determine the best of any finite set of n options, on the basis of n-1 pairwise comparisons. Many people have challenged the first assumption in one of four ways. Some have pointed out that some options might be equally good, so there is no single best option.

Others have suggested that some alternatives might be only roughly comparable, or on a par. On this view, two alternatives could be in the same ballpark, say the genius of Einstein or Mozart, or a legal career versus an academic career, without one being better than the other, or their being exactly equally good.

Still others have suggested that in some rare cases two alternatives can be completely incomparable. And finally, some have noted that among an infinite number of possibilities, there might be no best one, just as there is no largest number in the infinite sequence 1, 2, 3, 4, … Friends of the standard conception of rationality can readily amend their view to accommodate such worries.

They can say that if two alternatives are equally good, genuinely incomparable or only roughly comparable, then there is no compelling reason to choose one rather than the other, so we can choose either, which option is better to choose. They can then add that we are finite beings, who usually must select from a finite set of options, and for all such cases an agent can rationally choose any which option is better to choose as long as there is no available option that is better than it.

So, on this amended view, even if there might be no single best option, rationality can direct us to never choose a worse option over an available better option. The second fundamental assumption has gone unchallenged for most of human history. Most philosophers, economists and others have assumed that the Axiom of Transitivity for Better Than must be true, in virtue of the meanings of the words better than, or as a matter of logic.

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And most are. So, for example, if Ahmed is taller or faster, or heavier than Ilsa, and Ilsa is taller or faster or strategy 5 5 binary options than Quiping, then, indeed, Ahmed must be taller or faster, or heavier than Quiping. But the second fundamental assumption about rationality could be deeply mistaken.

What’s the best option?

How tall Ahmed is — in absolute terms — just depends on internal facts about Ahmed. Since the factors that are relevant for comparing Ahmed with Ilsa in terms of height are the very same as the factors that are relevant for comparing Ilsa and Quiping in terms of height, and Ahmed with Quiping in terms of height, this ensures that if, in terms of those unchanging factors, Ahmed is taller than Ilsa, and Ilsa taller than Quiping, then Ahmed is taller than Quiping.

Often the factors that are relevant for comparing one outcome with another to determine which of the two is better vary, depending on what alternatives are being compared. Thus, it can be that one outcome is better than a second, in terms of all the factors that are relevant for making that comparison, and a second outcome is better than a third in terms of all the factors that are relevant for making that comparison, and yet the first outcome might not be better than the third, because the factors that are relevant for determining which of those two outcomes is better might be different than the factors for comparing one or both of the other two sets of alternatives.

Here is a real-world example.

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In the US, many favour a policy of affirmative action of the following form. They believe that some preference should be given for hiring African Americans for certain positions over whites. The justification of their view lies in the peculiar historical relation between whites and African Americans in the US, including the history of slavery, lynching, Jim Crow laws, and so on. Notice, on this view, there would not be reason to give preference to Mexican Americans over whites, nor to African Americans over Mexican Americans; since, to put it crudely, Mexican Americans were not enslaved by whites, nor were African Americans enslaved by Mexican Americans.

On this view, there could be three candidates: Mr White, Mr Mexican American, and Mr African American, such that all things considered — that is, taking account of all of the factors that were relevant for making each comparison — we might judge that hiring Mr White was better than hiring Mr Mexican American, and that hiring Mr Mexican American was better than hiring Mr African American, and yet that hiring Mr African American was nonetheless better than hiring Mr White.

Here, we have a violation of the Axiom of Transitivity of Better Than, and the reason for that violation, as given above, is that the factors that are relevant for considering the desirability of hiring Mr White are, at least in part, different depending on whether the alternative is hiring Mr Mexican American, or Mr African American.

Like many national and international health organisations, the World Health Organization WHO often adopts a cost-effectiveness approach in choosing between alternative health policies.

So, for example, if they could cure a very bad disease that affected a relatively small number of people, or a slightly less bad disease that affected twice as many people, they would do the latter.

However, this kind of trade-off, between quality and quantity seems plausible only for some cases.

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If the gap in disease severity were large enough, the WHO would no longer worry about the less severe disease, no matter how many people it afflicted. So, the WHO is not in the business of preventing short, mild itches or headaches, no matter how many people might be afflicted by such maladies. Using the cost-effectiveness reasoning that seems plausible for such comparisons, curing the second malady might be judged better than curing the first, curing the third better than curing the second, curing the fourth better than curing the third, and so on.

Together with the Axiom of Transitivity for Better Than, these pairwise judgments imply that it would be better to cure the last malady than the first.

But almost no one believes that. Curing the first malady seems clearly better than curing the last.

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Here, the factors that seem relevant for comparing the maladies that are adjacent to each other along the spectrum of maladies — which licenses the kind of trade-offs between quality and quantity described — are different from the factors that seem relevant for comparing the maladies at the opposite ends of the spectrum, where trade-offs between quality and quantity no longer seem permissible. Notice, in this case, there is no best option for the WHO to choose.

Worse, whatever option they choose, there is another available option that seems clearly better. It is striking how often people purchase which option is better to choose item, and immediately regret having bought that item, rather than an alternative item that they might have bought.

This common reaction is normally thought to reflect some kind of psychological shortcoming in the agent. And no doubt often it does. It might be that we often face a series of options for which the Axiom of Transitivity for Better Than fails. In those cases, there will be a series of options where the first will be better than the second, the second better than the third, the third better than the fourth, and so on, but the last option will be better than the first.

In that case, we would have an example of what the economists call a cycle, and a rational agent will have good reason to prefer the first option to the second because it is, after all, betterand good reason to prefer the third option to the second, and so on, but the rational agent will also have good reason to prefer the first option to the last. In that case, there is no best option.

Worse, it is guaranteed that whatever option one chooses, there will have been another available option that was better.

The classic bait-and-switch works as follows. A company advertises one item for a very low price. A customer goes to purchase the item, which is no longer available in the store perhaps it never which option is better to choose.

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The customer is then offered another, fancier, more expensive item to buy. Having gone out to buy an item of that sort, he might be reluctant to go home empty-handed, and could end up going home buying an item much fancier, but also much more expensive than he originally which option is better to choose to.

Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. Do I take a gap year or do I start college immediately? Do I get engaged now, or wait until after graduate school to be married? Do I stay at my current job and learn a new skill, or do I strike out in a different career direction?

Having done so, he might feel, and most people would agree, that the customer has been cheated by an unscrupulous merchandiser.

A variation of the bait-and-switch can be almost as effective. A store advertises an item — say, a car — at a very good price.

When the customer arrives, the car might be available at the price advertised. The customer might agree that the additional options are worth the extra price, and decide to buy the fancier car. At that point, the customer could be shown a third car, which has even more options for not too much more than the second car.

The customer might again agree that the additional options are worth the extra price, and decide to buy the even fancier car.

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