Leo Yan, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, presented a paper titled "Uncontainable Incommensurability" at the Value Incommensurability Workshop, held at Lund University, Lund, Sweden, May 25–26, 2023.


I examine how incommensurability spreads from parts to wholes, focusing on cases involving lotteries and combined values. With respect to lotteries, the parts can be understood as the different possible outcomes of the lottery and the whole can be understood as the lottery’s total prospect given those different possible outcomes. With respect to combined values, the parts can be understood as different constituent subvalues and the whole can be understood as the combined supervalue formed by those component subvalues. In both cases, I show how incommensurability in one of the parts cannot be contained to that part insofar as it must spread (at least to some degree) to the whole. I end by examining some implications that follow from this uncontainability of incommensurability.