Bernoulli's doctrine de mensura sortis

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Bernoulli's doctrine de mensura sortis; Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782), an eminent mathematician and physical scientist, realized that equal or proportional changes in mans wealth or "physical fortune" did not produce equal or proportional changes in utility or satisfaction, which he called "moral fortune," and that such changes in "Moral fortune" were related to his previous wealth or fortune as well as the physical changes in it. Accordingly, he resorted to logarithms to develop a mathematical formula or doctrine for computing the expectation of changes in "moral fortunes" that would result from any given physical changes in any person's previously held fortune. The suppositions of this doctrine were dependent upon the selection of arbitrary constants for human valuations. However, such valuations are not only unmeasurable but also variable from man to man and for the same man at different times. In distinguishing between "physical" and "moral" fortunes, Bernoulli's contribution made it clear that simple arithmetic (addition and subtraction) is not applicable to problems involving human valuations of different physical quantities.[1]


  1. Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-06-24.