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Who was the inventor of Utility function?

up vote 14 down vote

To my knowledge, the idea of representing weak-order with a function dates back to Cantor. So my questions are:

1) Was Cantor the first person to rigorize these kinds of representation?

2) Were there anyone in the ancient world who (though not rigorously) developed the idea of representing social choice or preference by a function?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

Not to be too obvious about it, but couldn't you just say Jeremy Bentham? The calculus of choosing bundles that maximizes pleasure specified a very simple utility function in words.

up vote 3 down vote

GĂ©rard Debreu precisely defined the conditions required for a preference ordering to be representable by a utility function.


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Who was the inventor of Utility function?

up vote 14 down vote

To my knowledge, the idea of representing weak-order with a function dates back to Cantor. So my questions are:

1) Was Cantor the first person to rigorize these kinds of representation?

2) Were there anyone in the ancient world who (though not rigorously) developed the idea of representing social choice or preference by a function?


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up vote 9 down vote

Not to be too obvious about it, but couldn't you just say Jeremy Bentham? The calculus of choosing bundles that maximizes pleasure specified a very simple utility function in words.

edit

Yes I think he is the one. A social scientist and a philosopher. - High GPA Nov 17 at 21:29

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