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  1. added 2019-05-05
    Law as Trope: Framing and Evaluating Conceptual Metaphors.Lloyd Harold Anthony - 2016 - Pace Law Review 37.
    Like others who work with language, many lawyers no doubt appreciate good kennings. However, metaphors also play a much deeper role in thought and law than style, ornament, or verbal virtuosity. As we shall see, metaphors play a necessary role in our categories of thought. As a result, metaphors are a necessary part of thought itself, including legal thought.
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  2. added 2019-03-09
    How To Be Rational.David Robert - manuscript
    The core of this paper is divided into 4 sections. In Sections 2 and 3, I address (2) how to acquire rational belief attitudes, and (3) how to make rational choices. Building on Sections 2 and 3, I then answer two of the most pressing questions of our time: (4) Should you be skeptical of climate change? (5) Should you invest in life-extension medical research?
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  3. added 2019-03-08
    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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  4. added 2019-02-23
    The Dead Hands of Group Selection and Phenomenology -- A Review of Individuality and Entanglement by Herbert Gintis 357p (2017)(Review Revised 2019).Michael Starks - 2019 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century -- Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 4th Edition Michael Starks. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 364-376.
    Since Gintis is a senior economist and I have read some of his previous books with interest, I was expecting some more insights into behavior. Sadly, he makes the dead hands of group selection and phenomenology into the centerpieces of his theories of behavior, and this largely invalidates the work. Worse, since he shows such bad judgement here, it calls into question all his previous work. The attempt to resurrect group selection by his friends at Harvard, Nowak and Wilson, a (...)
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  5. added 2018-11-14
    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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  6. added 2018-08-28
    Is Risk Aversion Irrational?H. Orri Stefánsson - forthcoming - Synthese:1-13.
    A moderately risk averse person may turn down a 50/50 gamble that either results in her winning $200 or losing $100. Such behaviour seems rational if, for instance, the pain of losing $100 is felt more strongly than the joy of winning $200. The aim of this paper is to examine an influential argument that some have interpreted as showing that such moderate risk aversion is irrational. After presenting an axiomatic argument that I take to be the strongest case for (...)
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  7. added 2018-05-18
    What Decision Theory Provides the Best Procedure for Identifying the Best Action Available to a Given Artificially Intelligent System?Samuel A. Barnett - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    Decision theory has had a long-standing history in the behavioural and social sciences as a tool for constructing good approximations of human behaviour. Yet as artificially intelligent systems (AIs) grow in intellectual capacity and eventually outpace humans, decision theory becomes evermore important as a model of AI behaviour. What sort of decision procedure might an AI employ? In this work, I propose that policy-based causal decision theory (PCDT), which places a primacy on the decision-relevance of predictors and simulations of agent (...)
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  8. added 2018-03-07
    Syiden kisat Leibnizin mielenfilosofiassa.Markku Roinila - 2007 - In Heta Gylling, Ilkka Niiniluoto & Risto Vilkko (eds.), Syy. Gaudeamus.
    G. W. Leibnizin mielenfilosofiassa ymmärrykselle on jatkuvasti läsnä erilaisia taipumuksia erilaisiin päämääriin. Nämä taipumukset tai syyt toimia jollakin tavoin saattavat perustua selviin ja tarkkoihin havaintoihin ja olla tiedostettuja ennakkotahtomuksia. Näiden lisäksi mielessämme on epälukuinen määrä epäselviin havaintoihin perustuvia tiedostamattomia ja hetkittäisiä passioita, oikkuja tai hurahduksia. Kun henkilö ryhtyy harkitsemaan toimintaansa, nämä erilaiset taipumukset ja ennakkotahtomukset alkavat ottaa mittaa toisistaan. Prosessin tuloksena on lopullinen tahtomus tai riittävä syy. Kun ymmärrys on muodostanut suosituksen, tahto seuraa Leibnizin mukaan sitä ja toteuttaa ao. toiminnan. (...)
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  9. added 2017-11-28
    Transformative Experience and the Knowledge Norms for Action: Moss on Paul’s Challenge to Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. 2015, Harman (...)
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  10. added 2017-10-24
    The Systemic Mind and a Conceptual Framework for the Psychosocial Environment of Business Enterprises: Practical Implications for Systemic Leadership Training.Radek Trnka & Petr Parma - 2015 - In Martin Kuška & M. J. Jandl (eds.), Current Research in Psychosocial Arena: Thinking about Health, Society and Culture. Wien: Sigmund Freud PrivatUniversitäts Verlag. pp. 68-79.
    This chapter introduces a research-based conceptual framework for the study of the inner psychosocial reality of business enterprises. It is called the Inner Organizational Ecosystem Approach (IOEA). This model is systemic in nature, and it defines the basic features of small and medium-size enterprises, such as elements, structures, borders, social actors, organizational climate, processes and resources. Further, it also covers the dynamics of psychosocial reality, processes, emergent qualities and the higher-order subsystems of the overall organizational ecosystem, including the global business (...)
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  11. added 2017-10-20
    Bayesian Decision Theory and Stochastic Independence.Philippe Mongin - 2017 - TARK 2017.
    Stochastic independence has a complex status in probability theory. It is not part of the definition of a probability measure, but it is nonetheless an essential property for the mathematical development of this theory. Bayesian decision theorists such as Savage can be criticized for being silent about stochastic independence. From their current preference axioms, they can derive no more than the definitional properties of a probability measure. In a new framework of twofold uncertainty, we introduce preference axioms that entail not (...)
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  12. added 2017-10-05
    La Théorie de la Décision Et la Psychologie du Sens Commun.Philippe Mongin - 2011 - Social Science Information 50 (3-4):351-374.
    Taking the philosophical standpoint, this article compares the mathematical theory of individual decision-making with the folk psychology conception of action, desire and belief. It narrows down its topic by carrying the comparison vis-à-vis Savage's system and its technical concept of subjective probability, which is referred to the basic model of betting as in Ramsey. The argument is organized around three philosophical theses: (i) decision theory is nothing but folk psychology stated in formal language (Lewis), (ii) the former substantially improves on (...)
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  13. added 2017-08-21
    Continuity and Completeness of Strongly Independent Preorders.David McCarthy & Kalle Mikkola - 2018 - Mathematical Social Sciences 93:141-145.
    A strongly independent preorder on a possibly in finite dimensional convex set that satisfi es two of the following conditions must satisfy the third: (i) the Archimedean continuity condition; (ii) mixture continuity; and (iii) comparability under the preorder is an equivalence relation. In addition, if the preorder is nontrivial (has nonempty asymmetric part) and satisfi es two of the following conditions, it must satisfy the third: (i') a modest strengthening of the Archimedean condition; (ii') mixture continuity; and (iii') completeness. Applications (...)
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  14. added 2017-08-21
    Representation of Strongly Independent Preorders by Sets of Scalar-Valued Functions.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Teruji Thomas - 2017 - MPRA Paper No. 79284.
    We provide conditions under which an incomplete strongly independent preorder on a convex set X can be represented by a set of mixture preserving real-valued functions. We allow X to be infi nite dimensional. The main continuity condition we focus on is mixture continuity. This is sufficient for such a representation provided X has countable dimension or satisfi es a condition that we call Polarization.
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  15. added 2017-05-16
    Expected Comparative Utility Theory: A New Theory of Rational Choice.David Robert - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (1):19-37.
    This paper proposes a new theory of rational choice, Expected Comparative Utility (ECU) Theory. It is first argued that for any decision option, a, and any state of the world, G, the measure of the choiceworthiness of a in G is the comparative utility of a in G – that is, the difference in utility, in G, between a and whichever alternative to a carries the greatest utility in G. On the basis of this principle, it is then argued, roughly (...)
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  16. added 2017-03-15
    Cold Turkey - Kicking the Habit of Justification (Review of Critical Rationalism: A Restatement and Defence). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1994 - New Scientist (1939).
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  17. added 2016-12-08
    Decision-Making Under Indeterminacy.J. Robert G. Williams - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Decisions are made under uncertainty when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and one is uncertain to which the act will lead. Decisions are made under indeterminacy when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and it is indeterminate to which the act will lead. This paper develops a theory of (synchronic and diachronic) decision-making under indeterminacy that portrays the rational response to such situations as inconstant. Rational agents have to capriciously and randomly choose how to resolve (...)
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  18. added 2016-07-12
    Decision-Theoretic Approaches to Non-Knowledge in Economics.Ekaterina Svetlova & Henk van Elst - 2015 - In Gross Matthias & McGoey Linsy (eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies. Routledge. pp. 349-360.
    The aim of this contribution is to provide an overview of conceptual approaches to incorporating a decision maker’s non-knowledge into economic theory. We will focus here on the particular kind of non-knowledge which we consider to be one of the most important for economic discussions: non-knowledge of possible consequence-relevant uncertain events which a decision maker would have to take into account when selecting between different strategies.
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  19. added 2016-07-05
    Why High-Risk, Non-Expected-Utility-Maximising Gambles Can Be Rational and Beneficial: The Case of HIV Cure Studies.Lara Buchak - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics (2):1-6.
    Some early phase clinical studies of candidate HIV cure and remission interventions appear to have adverse medical risk–benefit ratios for participants. Why, then, do people participate? And is it ethically permissible to allow them to participate? Recent work in decision theory sheds light on both of these questions, by casting doubt on the idea that rational individuals prefer choices that maximise expected utility, and therefore by casting doubt on the idea that researchers have an ethical obligation not to enrol participants (...)
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  20. added 2016-06-30
    Does Optimization Imply Rationality?Philippe Mongin - 2000 - Synthese 124 (1):73-111.
    ABSTRACT. The relations between rationality and optimization have been widely discussed in the wake of Herbert Simon’s work, with the common conclusion that the rationality concept does not imply the optimization principle. The paper is partly concerned with adding evidence for this view, but its main, more challenging objective is to question the converse implication from optimization to rationality, which is accepted even by bounded rationality theorists. We discuss three topics in succession: (1) rationally defensible cyclical choices, (2) the revealed (...)
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  21. added 2016-06-30
    Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 1998 - In John Davis, Wade Hands & Uskali Maki (eds.), Handbook of Economic Methodology. Edward Elgar. pp. 342-350.
    The paper summarizes expected utility theory, both in its original von Neumann-Morgenstern version and its later developments, and discusses the normative claims to rationality made by this theory.
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  22. added 2016-02-26
    Choice-Based Cardinal Utility. A Tribute to Patrick Suppes.Philippe Mongin - 2016 - Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (3):268-288.
    We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and dis- tinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions (...)
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  23. added 2015-12-06
    Revisiting Risk and Rationality: A Reply to Pettigrew and Briggs.Lara Buchak - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):841-862.
    I have claimed that risk-weighted expected utility maximizers are rational, and that their preferences cannot be captured by expected utility theory. Richard Pettigrew and Rachael Briggs have recently challenged these claims. Both authors argue that only EU-maximizers are rational. In addition, Pettigrew argues that the preferences of REU-maximizers can indeed be captured by EU theory, and Briggs argues that REU-maximizers lose a valuable tool for simplifying their decision problems. I hold that their arguments do not succeed and that my original (...)
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  24. added 2015-08-25
    Transformative Experience and Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):766-774.
    This paper is part of a book symposium for L. A. Paul (2014) Transformative Experience (OUP).
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  25. added 2015-03-20
    Imagination and Action.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 286-299.
    Abstract: This entry elucidates causal and constitutive roles that various forms of imagining play in human action. Imagination influences more kinds of action than just pretend play. I distinguish different senses of the terms “imagining” and “imagination”: imagistic imagining, propositional imagining, and constructive imagining. Each variety of imagining makes its own characteristic contributions to action. Imagistic imagining can structure bodily movement. Propositional imagining interacts with desires to motivate pretend play and mimetic expressive action. And constructive imagination generates representations of possibilities (...)
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  26. added 2015-01-19
    Counterfactual Desirability.Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):485-533.
    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais Paradox. In this paper we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey's decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be desirability maximising. We (...)
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  27. added 2014-04-02
    Decision Theory for Agents with Incomplete Preferences.Adam Bales, Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):453-70.
    Orthodox decision theory gives no advice to agents who hold two goods to be incommensurate in value because such agents will have incomplete preferences. According to standard treatments, rationality requires complete preferences, so such agents are irrational. Experience shows, however, that incomplete preferences are ubiquitous in ordinary life. In this paper, we aim to do two things: (1) show that there is a good case for revising decision theory so as to allow it to apply non-vacuously to agents with incomplete (...)
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  28. added 2014-03-17
    Great Expectations.Adam Morton - 2007 - In Tim Lewens (ed.), Risk: Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
    I distinguish between risks in which most people will do badly from those in which few will, though some will do very badly.
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  29. added 2014-02-25
    Subjective Probabilities Need Not Be Sharp.Jake Chandler - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1273-1286.
    It is well known that classical, aka ‘sharp’, Bayesian decision theory, which models belief states as single probability functions, faces a number of serious difficulties with respect to its handling of agnosticism. These difficulties have led to the increasing popularity of so-called ‘imprecise’ models of decision-making, which represent belief states as sets of probability functions. In a recent paper, however, Adam Elga has argued in favour of a putative normative principle of sequential choice that he claims to be borne out (...)
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  30. added 2013-12-07
    Where Do Preferences Come From?Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2013 - International Journal of Game Theory 42 (3):613-637.
    Rational choice theory analyzes how an agent can rationally act, given his or her preferences, but says little about where those preferences come from. Preferences are usually assumed to be fixed and exogenously given. Building on related work on reasons and rational choice, we describe a framework for conceptualizing preference formation and preference change. In our model, an agent's preferences are based on certain "motivationally salient" properties of the alternatives over which the preferences are held. Preferences may change as new (...)
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  31. added 2013-07-29
    Risk and Tradeoffs.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S6):1091-1117.
    The orthodox theory of instrumental rationality, expected utility (EU) theory, severely restricts the way in which risk-considerations can figure into a rational individual's preferences. It is argued here that this is because EU theory neglects an important component of instrumental rationality. This paper presents a more general theory of decision-making, risk-weighted expected utility (REU) theory, of which expected utility maximization is a special case. According to REU theory, the weight that each outcome gets in decision-making is not the subjective probability (...)
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  32. added 2012-06-08
    Decision Theory.Lara Buchak - forthcoming - In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan Hajek (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Decision theory has at its core a set of mathematical theorems that connect rational preferences to functions with certain structural properties. The components of these theorems, as well as their bearing on questions surrounding rationality, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Philosophy’s current interest in decision theory represents a convergence of two very different lines of thought, one concerned with the question of how one ought to act, and the other concerned with the question of what action consists (...)
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  33. added 2011-07-20
    A Reason-Based Theory of Rational Choice.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):104-134.
    There is a surprising disconnect between formal rational choice theory and philosophical work on reasons. The one is silent on the role of reasons in rational choices, the other rarely engages with the formal models of decision problems used by social scientists. To bridge this gap, we propose a new, reason-based theory of rational choice. At its core is an account of preference formation, according to which an agent’s preferences are determined by his or her motivating reasons, together with a (...)
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  34. added 2011-02-12
    Decision Theory, Philosophical Perspectives.Darren Bradley - 2013 - In Hal Pashler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.
    Decision theory is concerned with how agents should act when the consequences of their actions are uncertain. The central principle of contemporary decision theory is that the rational choice is the choice that maximizes subjective expected utility. This entry explains what this means, and discusses the philosophical motivations and consequences of the theory. The entry will consider some of the main problems and paradoxes that decision theory faces, and some of responses that can be given. Finally the entry will briefly (...)
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