The Good, the Bad, and the Transitivity of Better Than*

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The Rachels–Temkin spectrum arguments against the transitivity of better than involve good or bad experiences, lives, or outcomes that vary along multiple dimensions—e.g., duration and intensity of pleasure or pain. This paper presents variations on these arguments involving combinations of good and bad experiences, which have even more radical implications than the violation of transitivity. These variations force opponents of transitivity to conclude that something good is worse than something that isn't good, on pain of rejecting the good altogether. That is impossible, so we must reject the spectrum arguments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-899
Number of pages26
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'The Good, the Bad, and the Transitivity of Better Than*'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this