Brendan Markey-Towler, School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 507 March 2014, School of Economics, The University of Queensland .

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In standard models of rational choice it is typically taken for granted that preferences are given and defined over the alternatives alone, and the possibility of making a rational choice is simply a matter of assumption. In this paper I generalise this aspect of the economic model so that preferences over alternatives are constructed from given preferences defined over various characteristics of the alternatives under consideration. I characterise the decision problem before investigating what conditions a procedure for aggregating preferences over attributes into preferences over alternatives must satisfy in order for the latter to be rational. I then consider what the implications of these conditions for the procedural rationality of the aggregation process.