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Lecture 12

PHIL 110B Lecture 12: Week 12 - PHIL 110B

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University of Waterloo
Patricia Marino

PHIL 110B – Week 12 Economics – Sagoff  Challenge to Economic Approach o You don’t always have to goals of saving/spending money o Willingness to Pay – how are we going to satisfy the most of people’s preferences, and use money as a stand in o The more you don’t want something the more you are willing to pay not to get it o The more you want something the more you are willing to pay to get it o Consumers – economic approach treats us all like shoppers o Citizens – different interests than consumers o People payed to put up with negative event (living near chemicals) o Chemicals will be contained, not harmed, and will be paid to accept it and be best overall o The townspeople actually don’t want it no matter how much they are paid o In the economic approach, it would be irrational to refuse this risk which is financially worth more o Willingness to pay is the amount someone is willing to sacrifice in order to avoid something undesirable o This is how much you care for something  Consumers vs. Citizens o Willingness to pay incorrectly treats values as just mere preferences (making more money) o You are commodifying yourself, turning yourself into a kind of consumer o Not all of us think of ourselves like consumers o Preferences as consumer are not consistent with values as a citizen o Driving while supporting gasoline taxes to incentivize public transet o As a citizen, we think of the values that would be important for the community as a whole, not personal values o As a citizen, the society needs to be thinking about environment and public transit, a better use of public money o But he personally, as a consumer, prefers to drive o Consumer – what’s best for me, what’s most convenient and pleasant for me, desires and preferences (I love to drive, buses are annoying) o Citizen – What would be good for us, desires vs values, idea of valuing is not the same as having a desire or preference for it, when you value you think it is a good thing and think that you should care about it, value transcends attitude of “this would be good for me”  Labour Rights o Efficiency – maximizing benefits at the least costs
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