This essay deals with the notion and content of freedom of choice proposing a new set up and a new family of measures for this concept which is, indeed, an ethical value of paramount importance in a well ordered and open society. Following some ideas of John Stuart Mill, we propose that freedom of choice has to be understood not in a single stage of choice, but in the ordered collection of choices that a person can make in her life. We then suggest to represent a life in a tree structure, where each node represents a state of life and the edges between nodes will represent possible decisions in life. In this new framework, we propose a set of axioms that imply the following family of measures of lifetime's freedom of choice: the lifetime's freedom of choice has to be evaluated by a weighted sum of all possible states of life an individual might visit, with weights representing the number of decisions the individual took to reach that state. © 2011 The Author(s).
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|
- Freedom of choice
- Tree of life