The Irrelevance of the Diachronic Money-Pump Argument for Acyclicity

Johan E. Gustafsson
2013 Journal of Philosophy  
The money-pump argument is the standard argument for the acyclicity of rational preferences. The argument purports to show that agents with cyclic preferences are in some possible situations forced to act against their preference. In the usual, diachronic version of the money-pump argument, such agents accept a series of trades that leaves them worse o than before. Two stock objections are (i) that one may get the dri and refuse the trades and (ii) that one may adopt a plan to only accept some
more » ... o only accept some of the trades. In this paper, I shall argue that these objections are irrelevant. I claim that if the diachronic money-pump argument is cogent, so is a more direct synchronic argument. The upshot is that the standard objections to the diachronic money-pump argument do not a ect this simpler synchronic argument. Hence the standard objections to the money-pump argument for acyclicity are irrelevant.
doi:10.5840/jphil2013110819 fatcat:glpfl5iz5jhfnlyal7kfxpvtzm