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Reuter, Kevin; Messerli, Michael (2017): How not to characterise a hard choice. In: Ratio, Vol. 30, No. 4: pp. 494-521
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Abstract

People are often faced with so called hard choices - also known as hard cases of comparison. In trying to characterize these hard choices, philosophers have made two central claims. First, failure of transitivity underlies hard cases of comparison. Second, using a random procedure is considered inappropriate in order to arrive at a decision in hard cases. While having some argumentative support, both claims primarily rely on expert intuitions. The results of the experiments we present in this paper challenge both claims, as well as the representativeness of expert intuitions that support these claims, by showing that most people (i) violate transitivity only if a hard choice is important, and (ii) find it appropriate to use a random procedure even in hard cases of comparison.