Date of Award

Fall 1988

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. James H. Hall


Just what is to be understood by the term "cost-benefit analysis" ("benefit-cost analysis")? The question itself arises from a curiosity into how government decisions (which affect all) are made. This paper gives an elementary discussion of constitutive parts, raising and responding to some initial criticisms. It seems fairly evident, unneedful of additional explanation or elaboration. The individual on the street would simply declare that it sounded like some rather ordinary decision-making process which involved the consideration of the costs and benefits incurred by the paths of action that might be selected. "Ordinary" means accessible to anyone and not the exclusive claim of the degreed economists or the governmental guardians; rather, common-sense listing, accounting, of the "pros and cons." This hypothetical individual has grasped the core of the matter but the peripheral understanding is mistaken.

Included in

Philosophy Commons