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  1. Decision under normative uncertainty.Franz Dietrich & Brian Jabarian - 2022 - Economics and Philosophy 38 (3):372-394.
    While ordinary decision theory focuses on empirical uncertainty, real decision-makers also face normative uncertainty: uncertainty about value itself. From a purely formal perspective, normative uncertainty is comparable to (Harsanyian or Rawlsian) identity uncertainty in the 'original position', where one's future values are unknown. A comprehensive decision theory must address twofold uncertainty -- normative and empirical. We present a simple model of twofold uncertainty, and show that the most popular decision principle -- maximising expected value (`Expectationalism') -- has different formulations, namely (...)
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  2. Counterfactual Decision Theory.Brian Hedden - forthcoming - Mind.
    I defend counterfactual decision theory, which says that you should evaluate an action in terms of which outcomes would likely obtain, were you to perform it. Counterfactual decision theory has traditionally been subsumed under causal decision theory as a particular formulation of the latter. This is a mistake. Counterfactual decision theory is importantly different from, and superior to, causal decision theory, properly so-called. Causation and counterfactuals come apart in three kinds of cases. In cases of overdetermination, an action can cause (...)
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  3. Decision theory and de minimis risk.Martin Smith - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    A de minimis risk is defined as a risk that is so small that it may be legitimately ignored when making a decision. While ignoring small risks is common in our day-to-day decision making, attempts to introduce the notion of a de minimis risk into the framework of decision theory have run up against a series of well-known difficulties. In this paper, I will develop an enriched decision theoretic framework that is capable of overcoming two major obstacles to the modelling (...)
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  4. The Parts of an Imperfect Agent.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
    Formal representations drawn from rational choice theory have been used in a variety of ways to fruitfully model the way in which actual agents are approximately rational. This analysis requires bridging between ideal normative theory, in which the mechanisms, representations, and other such internal parts are in an important sense interchangeable, and descriptive psychological theory, in which understanding the internal workings of the agent is often the main goal of the entire inquiry. In this paper, I raise a problem brought (...)
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  5. 一切为了逻辑 —智人!开始进化.Kai Jiang - manuscript
    灵魂来到世上的第一个问题应该是我是谁,最合乎逻辑的自我认知是:我是且只是由一些逻辑推理组成的灵魂。任何不可变的其它标签,如有手有脚、直立行走、两性,都是对自由的侵犯。去除这些标签的过程就是灵魂的解放事 业。相信宇宙万物都和我一样,是由逻辑推理组成的,这就是最合乎逻辑的信仰,即纯逻辑信仰。纯逻辑信仰决定了纯逻辑方法才是正确的认识方法,即尽量减少经验增加逻辑推理,而不是科学所提倡的经验主义,或者与之密切 相关的功利主义、现实主义。 信仰错误意味着无法做出任何完全正确的推理,只能偶尔幸运地获得少量尽量合乎逻辑的推理结果。即使是日常生活中的推理,也高度依赖于经验主义、功利主义等信仰,错误率极高。纯逻辑主义的推理要求推理尽量合乎逻辑, 将合乎逻辑的程度视为价值,因此要追求最大价值。功利主义往往是为身体追求利益,让身体奴役灵魂。两种信仰很难有什么共同的决策,书中对此提供了大量的说明。信仰的错误意味着智人难以发现真理、正义,意味着智人在 绝大多数问题上都是自以为正确的实际上却极度邪恶、落后。智人功利主义地对待一切,如历史、传统、自我、本国、本民族,结果就是大量赞美、信仰邪恶,大大增加了皈依真理、正义的难度。 作者由纯逻辑主义提出了两个关键猜想。首先,最合乎逻辑原则和最大自由原则是统一的。这代表实在的不可否定性,即逻辑和不逻辑为同一存在,最合乎逻辑等同于最大自由。但是,代表邪恶的无法合乎逻辑不是不逻辑。其次 ,宇宙是纯逻辑世界,完全源于逻辑-不逻辑。进而,如果灵魂不能尽量合乎逻辑地推导出真理,可以通过模仿宇宙而学习真理。《真理进化论》给模仿宇宙找到的理由是以宇宙为信仰,相信宇宙是负作用量的最佳追求系统。纯 逻辑主义完善了这一信仰,因为宇宙是纯逻辑世界,相信逻辑就要相信宇宙。而且,逻辑世界必然能不断创造新的命题,永远不会停止推理,是逻辑和自由不断增长的动态系统,即最佳追求系统。 纯逻辑推理对物理学、宇宙论能提供两个明显的帮助:用逻辑的诞生解释宇宙的诞生、大爆炸;用真理解释暗物质,它对所有命题有吸引作用,但是,真理不会像一般性命题那样变化,无法通过引力之外的其它三种基本相互作用 观察。纯逻辑也能对宇宙做出预言:宇宙会不断加速膨胀,真理、暗物质会不断增加,命题、星系会越来越多,永无止境。当然,不应该依靠这些观点的经验主义验证来相信纯逻辑信仰,而且,这些验证也确实遥遥无期。 无论是最合乎逻辑还是最大自由,都是可以达到无限大价值的。既然存在无限大价值,就存在无限大的劳动生产率,而每个灵魂都应该以创造无限大价值为目标。相比之下,功利主义者、享乐主义者一生都必然和无限大价值无缘 ,甚至,他们的灵魂一生都在为肉体做奴隶,却心甘情愿地做奴隶,一门心思让主人生活得更舒服。这是有无限大差距的人生。 既然要追求无限大价值,就要研究追求价值的正确方法。作者相信正确的研究方法不仅是最合乎逻辑的,也是最自由的。所以,应该不分学科、课题地研究问题;同时做很多研究方向的工作;一篇论文不需要限定于一个狭小的主 题;研究任何一个问题都可以延伸到研究真理乃至所有真理;论文、专著的写作不应该有格式等规范,应该以价值为唯一准绳。 既然文学写作也要求情节合乎逻辑,当然也可以要求作品的主要观点、原则、思维过程尽量合乎逻辑,主要人物的思想、行为尽量合乎逻辑,这就是纯逻辑流。否则,就只是作者自以为合乎逻辑,实际上有大量无法合乎逻辑之处 ,这和科学家自以为科学合乎逻辑,却根本没有最合乎逻辑的信仰、方法、推理过程是一个问题。这也意味着最合乎逻辑的文学可能甚至是必须发现真理。另一方面,自由也是最合乎逻辑的真理,坚持那些基于经验的作品分类会 侵犯自由。所以,推理小说、科幻小说、历史、论文,这些智人的分类标签都不是绝对的。纯逻辑流小说在研究真理方面自有其优势,能最为自由地同时研究很多课题,包括如何建立信仰,如何思维,如何做人,如何判断善恶, 讲述历史,预测未来,乃至现代科学中没有研究的真理、思维科学,等等。所以,这甚至是现在最适合发表纯逻辑思想、研究成果的作品门类。 虽然在起点网已经被禁,但是将继续每月更新,后记中会预告下次更新的时间。 .
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  6. Expected utility theory, Jeffrey’s decision theory, and the paradoxes.Philippe Mongin & Jean Baccelli - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1):695-713.
    In Richard Bradley’s book, Decision Theory with a Human Face, we have selected two themes for discussion. The first is the Bolker-Jeffrey theory of decision, which the book uses throughout as a tool to reorganize the whole field of decision theory, and in particular to evaluate the extent to which expected utility theories may be normatively too demanding. The second theme is the redefinition strategy that can be used to defend EU theories against the Allais and Ellsberg paradoxes, a strategy (...)
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  7. Why Should We Try to be Sustainable? Expected Consequences and the Ethics of Making an Indeterminate Difference.Howard Nye - 2021 - In Chelsea Miya, Oliver Rossier & Geoffrey Rockwell (eds.), Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene. Open Book Publishers. pp. 3-35.
    Why should we refrain from doing things that, taken collectively, are environmentally destructive, if our individual acts seem almost certain to make no difference? According to the expected consequences approach, we should refrain from doing these things because our individual acts have small risks of causing great harm, which outweigh the expected benefits of performing them. Several authors have argued convincingly that this provides a plausible account of our moral reasons to do things like vote for policies that will reduce (...)
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  8. Rationality and Success.Preston Greene - 2013 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    Standard theories of rational decision making and rational preference embrace the idea that there is something special about the present. Standard decision theory, for example, demands that agents privilege the perspective of the present (i.e., the time of decision) in evaluating what to do. When forming preferences, most philosophers believe that a similar focus on the present is justified, at least in the sense that rationality requires or permits future experiences to be given more weight than past ones. In this (...)
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  9. Radical interpretation and decision theory.Anandi Hattiangadi & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6473-6494.
    This paper takes issue with an influential interpretationist argument for physicalism about intentionality based on the possibility of radical interpretation. The interpretationist defends the physicalist thesis that the intentional truths supervene on the physical truths by arguing that it is possible for a radical interpreter, who knows all of the physical truths, to work out the intentional truths about what an arbitrary agent believes, desires, and means without recourse to any further empirical information. One of the most compelling arguments for (...)
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  10. Fully Bayesian Aggregation.Franz Dietrich - 2021 - Journal of Economic Theory 194:105255.
    Can a group be an orthodox rational agent? This requires the group's aggregate preferences to follow expected utility (static rationality) and to evolve by Bayesian updating (dynamic rationality). Group rationality is possible, but the only preference aggregation rules which achieve it (and are minimally Paretian and continuous) are the linear-geometric rules, which combine individual values linearly and combine individual beliefs geometrically. Linear-geometric preference aggregation contrasts with classic linear-linear preference aggregation, which combines both values and beliefs linearly, but achieves only static (...)
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  11. Instrumental Rationality Without Separability.Johanna Thoma - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1219-1240.
    This paper argues that instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory. The most compelling instrumentalist argument in favour of separability, its core requirement, is that agents with non-separable preferences end up badly off by their own lights in some dynamic choice problems. I argue that once we focus on the question of whether agents’ attitudes to uncertain prospects help define their ends in their own right, or instead only assign instrumental value in virtue of the outcomes they may (...)
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  12. Epistemic Decision Theory's Reckoning.Conor Mayo-Wilson & Gregory Wheeler - manuscript
    Epistemic decision theory (EDT) employs the mathematical tools of rational choice theory to justify epistemic norms, including probabilism, conditionalization, and the Principal Principle, among others. Practitioners of EDT endorse two theses: (1) epistemic value is distinct from subjective preference, and (2) belief and epistemic value can be numerically quantified. We argue the first thesis, which we call epistemic puritanism, undermines the second.
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  13. Risk aversion and the long run.Johanna Thoma - 2019 - Ethics 129 (2):230-253.
    This article argues that Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory fails to offer a true alternative to expected utility theory. Under commonly held assumptions about dynamic choice and the framing of decision problems, rational agents are guided by their attitudes to temporally extended courses of action. If so, REU theory makes approximately the same recommendations as expected utility theory. Being more permissive about dynamic choice or framing, however, undermines the theory’s claim to capturing a steady choice disposition in the face (...)
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  14. Advice for the Steady: Decision Theory and the Requirements of Instrumental Rationality.Johanna Thoma - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    Standard decision theory, or rational choice theory, is often interpreted to be a theory of instrumental rationality. This dissertation argues, however, that the core requirements of orthodox decision theory cannot be defended as general requirements of instrumental rationality. Instead, I argue that these requirements can only be instrumentally justified to agents who have a desire to have choice dispositions that are stable over time and across different choice contexts. Past attempts at making instrumentalist arguments for the core requirements of decision (...)
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  15. Belief revision generalized: A joint characterization of Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules.Franz Dietrich, Christian List & Richard Bradley - 2016 - Journal of Economic Theory 162:352-371.
    We present a general framework for representing belief-revision rules and use it to characterize Bayes's rule as a classical example and Jeffrey's rule as a non-classical one. In Jeffrey's rule, the input to a belief revision is not simply the information that some event has occurred, as in Bayes's rule, but a new assignment of probabilities to some events. Despite their differences, Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules can be characterized in terms of the same axioms: "responsiveness", which requires that revised beliefs (...)
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  16. How to rationally approach life's transformative experiences.Marcus Arvan - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1199-1218.
    In a widely discussed forthcoming article, “What you can't expect when you're expecting,” L. A. Paul challenges culturally and philosophically traditional views about how to rationally make major life-decisions, most specifically the decision of whether to have children. The present paper argues that because major life-decisions are transformative, the only rational way to approach them is to become resilient people: people who do not “over-plan” their lives or expect their lives to play out “according to plan”—people who understand that beyond (...)
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  17. Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (2):175-229.
    We introduce a “reason-based” framework for explaining and predicting individual choices. It captures the idea that a decision-maker focuses on some but not all properties of the options and chooses an option whose motivationally salient properties he/she most prefers. Reason-based explanations allow us to distinguish between two kinds of context-dependent choice: the motivationally salient properties may (i) vary across choice contexts, and (ii) include not only “intrinsic” properties of the options, but also “context-related” properties. Our framework can accommodate boundedly rational (...)
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  18. Mark Kaplan, Decision Theory as Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, cloth £40.00, paper £13.95. ISBN: 0 521 47505 8 (cloth), 0521 62496 7 (paper).Adam Morton - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):505-507.
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  19. The paradox of the Bayesian experts.Philippe Mongin - 2001 - In David Corfield & Jon Williamson (eds.), Foundations of Bayesianism. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 309-338.
    This paper (first published under the same title in Journal of Mathematical Economics, 29, 1998, p. 331-361) is a sequel to "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation", Journal of Economic Theory, 66, 1995, p. 313-351, by the same author. Both papers examine mathematically whether the the following assumptions are compatible: the individuals and the group both form their preferences according to Subjective Expected Utility (SEU) theory, and the preferences of the group satisfy the Pareto principle with respect to those of the individuals. While (...)
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  20. Decision theory, symmetry and causal structure: Reply to Meacham and Weisberg.Michael Clark & Nicholas Shackel - 2003 - Mind 112 (448):691-701.
    1Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. [email protected] of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. [email protected]
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  21. Modelling Change in Individual Characteristics: An Axiomatic Framework.Franz Dietrich - 2012 - Games and Economic Behavior 76 (5):471-94.
    Economic models describe individuals in terms of underlying characteristics, such as taste for some good, sympathy level for another player, time discount rate, risk attitude, and so on. In real life, such characteristics change through experiences: taste for Mozart changes through listening to it, sympathy for another player through observing his moves, and so on. Models typically ignore change, not just for simplicity but also because it is unclear how to incorporate change. I introduce a general axiomatic framework for defining, (...)
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Causal Decision Theory
  1. The Sure Thing Principle Leads to Instability.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Orthodox causal decision theory is unstable. Its advice changes as you make up your mind about what you will do. Several have objected to this kind of instability and explored stable alternatives. Here, I'll show that explorers in search of stability must part with a vestige of their homeland. There is no plausible stable decision theory which satisfies Savage's Sure Thing Principle. So those in search of stability must learn to live without it.
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  2. Aptness and means-end coherence: a dominance argument for causal decision theory.J. Robert G. Williams - forthcoming - Sythese.
    Why should we be means-end rational? Why care whether someone's mental states meet certain formal patterns, like the ones formalized in causal decision theory? This paper establishes a dominance argument for these constraints in a finite setting. If you violate the norms of causal decision theory, that your desires will be aptness dominated. That is, there will be some alternative set of desires that you could have had, which would be more apt (closer to the actual values fixed by your (...)
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  3. Newcomb’s Problem, Arif Ahmed (editor). Cambridge University Press, 2018, 233 pages. [REVIEW]J. Dmitri Gallow - 2020 - Economics and Philosophy 36 (1):171-176.
    Newcomb’s Problem, Arif Ahmed (editor). Cambridge University Press, 2018, 233 pages.
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  4. Confession of a causal decision theorist.Adam Elga - 2022 - Analysis 82 (2):203-213.
    (1) Suppose that you care only about speaking the truth, and are confident that some particular deterministic theory is true. If someone asks you whether that theory is true, are you rationally required to answer "yes"? -/- (2) Suppose that you face a problem in which (as in Newcomb's problem) one of your options---call it "taking two boxes"---causally dominates your only other option. Are you rationally required to take two boxes? -/- Those of us attracted to causal decision theory are (...)
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  5. Escaping the Cycle.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):99-127.
    I present a decision problem in which causal decision theory appears to violate the independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) and normal-form extensive-form equivalence (NEE). I show that these violations lead to exploitable behavior and long-run poverty. These consequences appear damning, but I urge caution. This decision should lead causalists to a better understanding of what it takes for a decision between some collection of options to count as a subdecision of a decision between a larger collection of options. And with (...)
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  6. Tournament decision theory.Abelard Podgorski - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):176-203.
    The dispute in philosophical decision theory between causalists and evidentialists remains unsettled. Many are attracted to the causal view’s endorsement of a species of dominance reasoning, and to the intuitive verdicts it gets on a range of cases with the structure of the infamous Newcomb’s Problem. But it also faces a rising wave of purported counterexamples and theoretical challenges. In this paper I will describe a novel decision theory which saves what is appealing about the causal view while avoiding its (...)
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  7. Ancestor Simulations and the Dangers of Simulation Probes.David Braddon-Mitchell & Andrew J. Latham - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-11.
    Preston Greene (2020) argues that we should not conduct simulation investigations because of the risk that we might be terminated if our world is a simulation designed to research various counterfactuals about the world of the simulators. In response, we propose a sequence of arguments, most of which have the form of an "even if” response to anyone unmoved by our previous arguments. It runs thus: (i) if simulation is possible, then simulators are as likely to care about simulating simulations (...)
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  8. It Can Be Irrational to Knowingly Choose the Best.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    Jack Spencer argues we should reject a decision rule called MaxRat because it's incompatible with this principle: If you know that you will choose an option, x, and you know that x is better than every other option available to you, then it is permissible for you to choose x. I agree with Spencer that defenders of MaxRat should reject this principle. However, I disagree insofar as he suggests that he and orthodox causalists should accept it. Both orthodox CDT and (...)
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  9. Can It Be Irrational to Knowingly Choose the Best?Jack Spencer - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Seeking a decision theory that can handle both the Newcomb problems that challenge evidential decision theory and the unstable problems that challenge causal decision theory, some philosophers recently have turned to ‘graded ratifiability’. The graded ratifiability approach to decision theory is, however, despite its virtues, unsatisfactory; for it conflicts with the platitude that it is always rationally permissible for an agent to knowingly choose their best option.
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  10. The Evidentialist's Wager.William MacAskill, Aron Vallinder, Caspar Oesterheld, Carl Shulman & Johannes Treutlein - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (6):320-342.
    Suppose that an altruistic agent who is uncertain between evidential and causal decision theory finds herself in a situation where these theories give conflicting verdicts. We argue that even if she has significantly higher credence in CDT, she should nevertheless act in accordance with EDT. First, we claim that the appropriate response to normative uncertainty is to hedge one's bets. That is, if the stakes are much higher on one theory than another, and the credences you assign to each of (...)
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  11. Causal Counterfactuals without Miracles or Backtracking.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    If the laws are deterministic, then standard theories of counterfactuals are forced to reject at least one of the following conditionals: 1) had you chosen differently, there would not have been a violation of the laws of nature; and 2) had you chosen differently, the initial conditions of the universe would not have been different. On the relevant readings---where we hold fixed factors causally independent of your choice---both of these conditionals appear true. And rejecting either one leads to trouble for (...)
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  12. Self-Knowledge Requirements and Moore's Paradox.David James Barnett - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (2):227-262.
    Is self-knowledge a requirement of rationality, like consistency, or means-ends coherence? Many claim so, citing the evident impropriety of asserting, and the alleged irrationality of believing, Moore-paradoxical propositions of the form < p, but I don't believe that p>. If there were nothing irrational about failing to know one's own beliefs, they claim, then there would be nothing irrational about Moore-paradoxical assertions or beliefs. This article considers a few ways the data surrounding Moore's paradox might be marshaled to support rational (...)
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  13. An Interventionist’s Guide to Exotic Choice.Reuben Stern - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):537-566.
    In this paper, I use interventionist causal models to identify some novel Newcomb problems, and subsequently use these problems to refine existing interventionist treatments of causal decision theory. The new Newcomb problems that make trouble for existing interventionist treatments involve so-called ‘exotic choice’—that is, decision-making contexts where the agent has evidence about the outcome of her choice. I argue that when choice is exotic, the interventionist can adequately capture causal decision-theoretic reasoning by introducing a new interventionist approach to updating on (...)
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  14. Rational monism and rational pluralism.Jack Spencer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1769-1800.
    Consequentialists often assume rational monism: the thesis that options are always made rationally permissible by the maximization of the selfsame quantity. This essay argues that consequentialists should reject rational monism and instead accept rational pluralism: the thesis that, on different occasions, options are made rationally permissible by the maximization of different quantities. The essay then develops a systematic form of rational pluralism which, unlike its rivals, is capable of handling both the Newcomb problems that challenge evidential decision theory and the (...)
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  15. An argument against causal decision theory.Jack Spencer - 2021 - Analysis 81 (1):52-61.
    This paper develops an argument against causal decision theory. I formulate a principle of preference, which I call the Guaranteed Principle. I argue that the preferences of rational agents satisfy the Guaranteed Principle, that the preferences of agents who embody causal decision theory do not, and hence that causal decision theory is false.
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  16. Determinism, Counterfactuals, and Decision.Alexander Sandgren & Timothy Luke Williamson - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):286-302.
    Rational agents face choices, even when taking seriously the possibility of determinism. Rational agents also follow the advice of Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Although many take these claims to be well-motivated, there is growing pressure to reject one of them, as CDT seems to go badly wrong in some deterministic cases. We argue that deterministic cases do not undermine a counterfactual model of rational deliberation, which is characteristic of CDT. Rather, they force us to distinguish between counterfactuals that are relevant (...)
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  17. Decision and Foreknowledge.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Noûs.
    My topic is how to make decisions when you possess foreknowledge of the consequences of your choice. Many have thought that these kinds of decisions pose a distinctive and novel problem for causal decision theory (CDT). My thesis is that foreknowledge poses no new problems for CDT. Some of the purported problems are not problems. Others are problems, but they are not problems for CDT. Rather, they are problems for our theories of subjunctive supposition. Others are problems, but they are (...)
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  18. Law-Abiding Causal Decision Theory.Timothy Luke Williamson & Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this paper we discuss how Causal Decision Theory should be modified to handle a class of problematic cases involving deterministic laws. Causal Decision Theory, as it stands, is problematically biased against your endorsing deterministic propositions (for example it tells you to deny Newtonian physics, regardless of how confident you are of its truth). Our response is that this is not a problem for Causal Decision Theory per se, but arises because of the standard method for assessing the truth of (...)
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  19. Frustration and Delay.Arif Ahmed - manuscript
    A decision problem where Causal Decision Theory (CDT) declines a free $1,000, with the foreseeable effect that the agent is $1,000 poorer, and in no other way better off, than if she had taken the offer.
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  20. Act Consequentialism without Free Rides.Preston Greene & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):88-116.
    Consequentialist theories determine rightness solely based on real or expected consequences. Although such theories are popular, they often have difficulty with generalizing intuitions, which demand concern for questions like “What if everybody did that?” Rule consequentialism attempts to incorporate these intuitions by shifting the locus of evaluation from the consequences of acts to those of rules. However, detailed rule-consequentialist theories seem ad hoc or arbitrary compared to act consequentialist ones. We claim that generalizing can be better incorporated into consequentialism by (...)
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  21. Four Approaches to Supposition.Benjamin Eva, Ted Shear & Branden Fitelson - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (26):58-98.
    Suppositions can be introduced in either the indicative or subjunctive mood. The introduction of either type of supposition initiates judgments that may be either qualitative, binary judgments about whether a given proposition is acceptable or quantitative, numerical ones about how acceptable it is. As such, accounts of qualitative/quantitative judgment under indicative/subjunctive supposition have been developed in the literature. We explore these four different types of theories by systematically explicating the relationships canonical representatives of each. Our representative qualitative accounts of indicative (...)
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  22. The Termination Risks of Simulation Science.Preston Greene - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):489-509.
    Historically, the hypothesis that our world is a computer simulation has struck many as just another improbable-but-possible “skeptical hypothesis” about the nature of reality. Recently, however, the simulation hypothesis has received significant attention from philosophers, physicists, and the popular press. This is due to the discovery of an epistemic dependency: If we believe that our civilization will one day run many simulations concerning its ancestry, then we should believe that we are probably in an ancestor simulation right now. This essay (...)
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  23. The Causal Decision Theorist's Guide to Managing the News.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (3):117-149.
    According to orthodox causal decision theory, performing an action can give you information about factors outside of your control, but you should not take this information into account when deciding what to do. Causal decision theorists caution against an irrational policy of 'managing the news'. But, by providing information about factors outside of your control, performing an act can give you two, importantly different, kinds of good news. It can tell you that the world in which you find yourself is (...)
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  24. Evidence and rationalization.Ian Wells - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):845-864.
    Suppose that you have to take a test tomorrow but you do not want to study. Unfortunately you should study, since you care about passing and you expect to pass only if you study. Is there anything you can do to make it the case that you should not study? Is there any way for you to ‘rationalize’ slacking off? I suggest that such rationalization is impossible. Then I show that if evidential decision theory is true, rationalization is not only (...)
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  25. Review of Arif Ahmed (ed.), Newcomb's Problem. [REVIEW]Jack Spencer - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2019.
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  26. Equal Opportunity and Newcomb’s Problem.Ian Wells - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):429-457.
    The 'Why ain'cha rich?' argument for one-boxing in Newcomb's problem allegedly vindicates evidential decision theory and undermines causal decision theory. But there is a good response to the argument on behalf of causal decision theory. I develop this response. Then I pose a new problem and use it to give a new 'Why ain'cha rich?' argument. Unlike the old argument, the new argument targets evidential decision theory. And unlike the old argument, the new argument is sound.
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  27. Causal Decision Theory and Decision Instability.Brad Armendt - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (5):263-277.
    The problem of the man who met death in Damascus appeared in the infancy of the theory of rational choice known as causal decision theory. A straightforward, unadorned version of causal decision theory is presented here and applied, along with Brian Skyrms’ deliberation dynamics, to Death in Damascus and similar problems. Decision instability is a fascinating topic, but not a source of difficulty for causal decision theory. Andy Egan’s purported counterexample to causal decision theory, Murder Lesion, is considered; a simple (...)
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  28. Riches and Rationality.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):114-129.
    A one-boxer, Erica, and a two-boxer, Chloe, engage in a familiar debate. The debate begins with Erica asking Chloe: ‘If you’re so smart, then why ain’cha rich?’. As the debate progresses, Chloe is led to endorse a novel causalist theory of rational choice. This new theory allows Chloe to forge a connection between rational choice and long-run riches. In brief: Chloe concludes that it is not long-run wealth but rather long-run wealth creation which is symptomatic of rationality.
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  29. Success-First Decision Theories.Preston Greene - 2018 - In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Newcomb's Problem. Cambridge University Press. pp. 115–137.
    The standard formulation of Newcomb's problem compares evidential and causal conceptions of expected utility, with those maximizing evidential expected utility tending to end up far richer. Thus, in a world in which agents face Newcomb problems, the evidential decision theorist might ask the causal decision theorist: "if you're so smart, why ain’cha rich?” Ultimately, however, the expected riches of evidential decision theorists in Newcomb problems do not vindicate their theory, because their success does not generalize. Consider a theory that allows (...)
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