[EM] A precise abstract definition of preference

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 24 17:46:35 PST 2005

Though I've told why, for the purpose of my criteria (and Steve's criteria) 
it doesn't matter what "prefer" means, and, in fact, though I've told why it 
doesn't matter if "prefer" doesn't mean anything, some may be uncomfortable 
about the fact that I haven't posted a precise definition of "prefer" that 
doesn't refer to everyday life. Here is such a definition:

Definition of "prefer":

A preference is an information-record consisting solely of a designation of 
a set of voters and a designation of an ordered pair of candidates.

A sentence or clause that says "[some set of voters (referred to in this 
paragraph as "S")] prefer X to Y" means "A preference consisting of a 
designation of S and a designation of (X,Y) is recorded in reference to the 
example being discussed."

[end of precise abstract definition of "prefer"]

This definition of "prefer" means something only if an example is being 
discussed, but criteria are only used during the discussion of an example.

Mike Ossipoff

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