The Irrelevance of the Diachronic Money-Pump Argument for Acyclicity

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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 off than before. Two stock objections are (i) that one may get the drift and refuse the trades and (ii) that one may adopt a plan to only accept some of the trades. This article argues that these objections are irrelevant. 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 affect this simpler synchronic argument. Hence the standard objections to the money-pump argument for acyclicity are irrelevant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-464
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Philosophy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

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