Encyclopedia > Talk:Tolerances versus preferences

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Talk:Tolerances versus preferences

I'm worried about whether the content of this page is novel work, and thus inappropriate to an encyclopedia. In my searching, I cannot find any similar discussion of tolerances versus preferences on the internet.

The page itself says that this emerges in politics and economics.

Would scholars in those areas be familiar with this topic? Is it stated in a way that people from those areas would be able to recognize it? DanKeshet

Would you not expect it, instead, in the sources named in the article? Having read George Lakoff's Moral Politics and Jane Jacobs' Systems of Survival[?], and a bit in family role theory[?] and welfare economics[?], this seems to be just what those authors say. If it's original, it's original to them. EofT

An example is the social welfare function (from that article) "These two social welfare functions express very different views about how a society would need to be organised in order to maximise welfare, with the first emphasising total incomes and the second emphasising the needs of the poorest." One maes a choice between preferences (the first function, which lets the market do the redistribution) and tolerances (the second function, which ensures that the poorest are not deprived beyond what they can stand). It's pretty obvious. EofT

The subtitle of Lakoff's book suggests that the point is poorly understood on the political left. In summary, he says that the left sees the role of the government as to expand preference expression (like yer mama), and the right sees it as an imposition of limits based on social tolerances (like yer papa). And he makes a big deal of the fact that the left doesn't understand this, and that's why it loses a lot. So it isn't that surprising if net discussions, which seem to be more left, reflect ignorance of the point. That's exactly what Lakoff predicted. EofT

The page itself says that this emerges in politics and economics.

One could actually more reasonably say that this is *the* difference between politics (our tolerances in societies) and economics (choices in markets). But see the vast debate on political economy on that issue. EofT

Would scholars in those areas be familiar with this topic? Is it stated in a way that people from those areas would be able to recognize it?

I have heard the issue raised in the context of instant runoff voting versus approval voting, by advocates of these approaches in US elections, each of which has their own advocacy group. Some use the term "tolerances" and some not. The article appears to be true to the sense of their arguments.EofT

It appears to be more of an elaborated dictionary definition than anything, addressing the various places we would use the word "tolerances" versus the places we would say "preferences" applied. If the two are confused, then it is hardly original to point that out. If there are novel aspects to what is said there, after you have read the sources, by all means move them to Talk:. Or, just propose a new title more recognizable using terms Jacobs, Lakoff, and the voting system advocates and economists use in their specialized debates. Fair? EofT

'what links here' (/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Whatlinkshere&target=Tolerances_versus_preferences) should also be consulted, to ensure that a change of name is not causing a lot of stuff to be insensible.


The reason I didn't first consult Lakoff or Jacobs first was because I don't have them handy where I am. Also, the article doesn't actually seem to cite either author as a source so much as say that the books discuss similar issues. (By the way, seeing as you're familiar with these books--do these books address the concept using this name or some other name? If they call it by some other name, it would be useful to say what they call it.)

Lakoff is more prone to say eros vs. logos, an ancient idea, but not sure if he used those terms in the original book on Moral Politics. Some think that division is sexist. Jacobs used the deliberately generic terms "Moral Syndrome A" and "Moral Syndrome B" in Systems of Survival[?] and later apparently started calling the two Guardians and Traders and saying they "each have a different Ethic" (I've seen this terminology only twice, once here on Wikipedia). Like a lot of really critical stuff there s a lot of hearsay about terms. Good example is Grice's implicature[?] which is probably the most important thing in linguistics but was a 1967 comment after a lecture. EofT

Regarding voting systems, I have many times personally used this distinction in discussing voting systems. In fact, usually in the exact example you gave (IRV vs. approval). However, I've simply never heard anybody reify it as the "tolerances versus preferences" issue, let alone connect it to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. :) DanKeshet

The term "preferences" shows up in preference voting, so that's standard enough. What is the parallel to preferences? "Tolerances" seems a fair word to describe what approval voting asks voters to express, or what laws ask them to respect. In the context of voting and law, I think the ordinary person would say this is all about tolerances or "what society will put up with". If you are choosing only one party or social welfare function or voting system, then "versus" is a fair word since they compete. I can't speak to the validity of the Sapir-Whorf[?] connection at all, that may be an original assertion. It is an odd one that needs at least more explanation. Maybe that needs to be removed to Talk. EofT

Regarding voting, the recent MoveOn.org[?] Internet Primary asked both who would you prefer (single preference), and who would you enthusiastically support if nominated? (multiple approval). So maybe the two are complementary and do not always compete? EofT

The original contributor to this article occasionally wrote articles which were somewhat biased or idiosyncratic, so I would say, feel free to edit heavily and/or move (though as EofT points out, check the backlinks and try to fix them where appropriate). It sounds like you have the expertise to do this well, so I'd say. just go for it. :) Martin

Agreed. Other possible names may be approval versus preference[?] (although that may skew it very much towards the voting issue only) and permission versus preference[?], either of which get rid of the troublesome plurals. Since both "approval voting" and "permission marketing" are very specific ideas though, maybe the tolerance versus preference[?] title, sans plurals, is fine, that is, if one views approval and permission, and maybe disapproval also, as ways of expressing tolerances? Suspect one should read all the backlinks first. There may be some tendency to use this article very generally as a neutral way to say that there is a "left versus right" conflict going on. That is a fair way to read Lakoff or Jacobs, but, if that's going on here, we should say so. EofT



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