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  1. 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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  2. Sequential Choice and the Agent's Perspective.Arif Ahmed - manuscript
    Causal Decision Theory reckons the choice-worthiness of an option to be completely independent of its evidential bearing on its non-effects. But after one has made a choice this bearing is relevant to future decisions. Therefore it is possible to construct problems of sequential choice in which Causal Decision Theory makes a guaranteed loss. So Causal Decision Theory is wrong. The source of the problem is the idea that agents have a special perspective on their own contemplated actions, from which evidential (...)
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  3. Smokers and psychos: Egan cases don't work.Arif Ahmed - 2010
    Andy Egan's Smoking Lesion and Psycho Button cases are supposed to be counterexamples to Causal Decision Theory. This paper argues that they are not: more precisely, it argues that if CDT makes the right call in Newcomb's problem then it makes the right call in Egan cases too.
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  4. Transformative experiences, rational decisions and shark attacks.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    How can we make rational decisions that involve transformative experiences, that is, experiences that can radically change our core preferences? L. A. Paul (2014) has argued that many decisions involving transformative experiences cannot be rational. However, Paul acknowledges that some traumatic events can be transformative experiences, but are nevertheless not an obstacle to rational decision-making. For instance, being attacked by hungry sharks would be a transformative experience, and yet, deciding not to swim with hungry sharks is rational. Paul has tried (...)
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  5. Counterfactual Decision Theory is Causal Decision Theory.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    The role of causation and counterfactuals in causal decision theory is vexed and disputed. Recently, Brian Hedden (2023) argues that we should abandon causal decision theory in favor of an alternative: counterfactual decision theory. I argue that, pace Hedden, counterfactual decision theory is not a competitor to, but rather a version of, causal decision theory---the most popular version by far. I provide textual evidence that the founding fathers of causal decision theory (Stalnaker, Gibbard, Harper, Lewis, Skyrms, Sobel, and Joyce) all (...)
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  6. How to Save Pascal (and Ourselves) From the Mugger.Avram Hiller & Ali Hasan - forthcoming - Dialogue:1-17.
    In this article, we re-examine Pascal’s Mugging, and argue that it is a deeper problem than the St. Petersburg paradox. We offer a way out that is consistent with classical decision theory. Specifically, we propose a “many muggers” response analogous to the “many gods” objection to Pascal’s Wager. When a very tiny probability of a great reward becomes a salient outcome of a choice, such as in the offer of the mugger, it can be discounted on the condition that there (...)
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  7. Causal counterfactuals without miracles or backtracking.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (2):439-469.
    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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  8. 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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  9. Deontic Logic, Weakening and Decisions Concerning Disjunctive Obligations.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Logos and Episteme 13 (1):93-102.
    This paper introduces two new paradoxes for standard deontic logic (SDL). They are importantly related to, but distinct from Ross' paradox. These two new paradoxes for SDL are the simple weakening paradox and the complex weakening paradox. Both of these paradoxes arise in virtue of the underlaying logic of SDL and are consequences of the fact that SDL incorporates the principle known as weakening. These two paradoxes then show that SDL has counter-intuitive implications related to disjunctive obligations that arise in (...)
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  10. Shifty evidence and shifty books.Bob Beddor - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):193-198.
    Are all epistemic notions – including evidence and rational credence – sensitive to practical considerations? A number of philosophers have argued that the answer must be ‘No’, since otherwise rational agents would be susceptible to diachronic Dutch books. After unpacking this challenge, I show how it can be resisted by appealing to an analogy between shifting stakes and memory loss. The upshot: pervasive epistemic shiftiness may be tenable after all.
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  11. Hard Choices Made Harder.Ryan Doody - 2021 - In Henrik Andersson & Anders Herlitz (eds.), Value Incommensurability: Ethics, Risk, and Decision-Making. Routledge. pp. 247-266.
    How should you evaluate your choices when you’re unsure what their outcomes will be? One popular answer is to rank your options in terms of their expected utilities. But what should you do when you think that the value of their respective outcomes might be incommensurable? In the face of incommensurable values, it no longer makes sense to speak of ranking your options according to expected utility. Are there any general principles to guide us when facing decisions of this kind? (...)
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  12. Transformative Experiences.Marcus Arvan - 2020 - In International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  13. Too much of a good thing: decision-making in cases with infinitely many utility contributions.Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7309-7349.
    Theories that use expected utility maximization to evaluate acts have difficulty handling cases with infinitely many utility contributions. In this paper I present and motivate a way of modifying such theories to deal with these cases, employing what I call “Direct Difference Taking”. This proposal has a number of desirable features: it’s natural and well-motivated, it satisfies natural dominance intuitions, and it yields plausible prescriptions in a wide range of cases. I then compare my account to the most plausible alternative, (...)
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  14. Transformative experience and the knowledge norms for action: Moss on Paul’s challenge to decision theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. New York, NY, USA:
    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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  15. Risking Belief.John Schwenkler - 2020 - In Enoch Lambert & John Schwenkler (eds.), Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 196-211.
    This chapter discusses how we should think about experiences that threaten to radically transform our understanding of the world. While it can be rational to treat the “doxastically transformative” potential of an experience as a reason to choose against it, such a decision must be based in something more than the fact that this experience would alter one’s current beliefs. It only in light of knowledge of how things are that a person can choose rationally against transformative processes that would (...)
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  16. Noson Yanofsky 403p (2013) द्वारा 'कारण की बाहरी सीमा' की समीक्षा Review of 'The Outer Limits of Reason' by Noson Yanofsky (संशोधित 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In पृथ्वी पर नर्क में आपका स्वागत है: शिशुओं, जलवायु परिवर्तन, बिटकॉइन, कार्टेल, चीन, लोकतंत्र, विविधता, समानता, हैकर्स, मानव अधिकार, इस्लाम, उदारवाद, समृद्धि, वेब, अराजकता, भुखमरी, बीमारी, हिंसा, कृत्रिम बुद्धिमत्ता, युद्ध. Las Vegas, NV, USA: Reality Press. pp. 221-238.
    मैं Wittgenstein और विकासवादी मनोविज्ञान के एक एकीकृत परिप्रेक्ष्य से Noson Yanofsky द्वारा 'कारण की बाहरी सीमा' की एक विस्तृत समीक्षा दे. मैं संकेत मिलता है कि भाषा और गणित में विरोधाभास के रूप में इस तरह के मुद्दों के साथ कठिनाई, अपूर्णता, अनिर्णयीयता, computability, मस्तिष्क और कंप्यूटर आदि के रूप में ब्रह्मांड, सभी विफलता से उठता है उचित में भाषा के हमारे उपयोग को ध्यान से देखने के लिए संदर्भ और इसलिए कैसे भाषा काम करता है के मुद्दों से (...)
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  17. Is risk aversion irrational? Examining the “fallacy” of large numbers.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4425-4437.
    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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  18. 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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  19. Parity, prospects, and predominance.Ryan Doody - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1077-1095.
    Let’s say that you regard two things as on a par when you don’t prefer one to other and aren’t indifferent between them. What does rationality require of you when choosing between risky options whose outcomes you regard as on a par? According to Prospectism, you are required to choose the option with the best prospects, where an option’s prospects is a probability-distribution over its potential outcomes. In this paper, I argue that Prospectism violates a dominance principle—which I call The (...)
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  20. Normative Decision Theory.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):755-772.
    A review of some major topics of debate in normative decision theory from circa 2007 to 2019. Topics discussed include the ongoing debate between causal and evidential decision theory, decision instability, risk-weighted expected utility theory, decision-making with incomplete preferences, and decision-making with imprecise credences.
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  21. Difference Minimizing Theory.Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Standard decision theory has trouble handling cases involving acts without finite expected values. This paper has two aims. First, building on earlier work by Colyvan (2008), Easwaran (2014), and Lauwers and Vallentyne (2016), it develops a proposal for dealing with such cases, Difference Minimizing Theory. Difference Minimizing Theory provides satisfactory verdicts in a broader range of cases than its predecessors. And it vindicates two highly plausible principles of standard decision theory, Stochastic Equivalence and Stochastic Dominance. The second aim is to (...)
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  22. What Is Risk Aversion?H. Orii Stefansson & Richard Bradley - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):77-102.
    According to the orthodox treatment of risk preferences in decision theory, they are to be explained in terms of the agent's desires about concrete outcomes. The orthodoxy has been criticised both for conflating two types of attitudes and for committing agents to attitudes that do not seem rationally required. To avoid these problems, it has been suggested that an agent's attitudes to risk should be captured by a risk function that is independent of her utility and probability functions. The main (...)
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  23. 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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  24. God meets Satan’s Apple: the paradox of creation.Rubio Daniel - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2987-3004.
    It is now the majority view amongst philosophers and theologians that any world could have been better. This places the choice of which world to create into an especially challenging class of decision problems: those that are discontinuous in the limit. I argue that combining some weak, plausible norms governing this type of problem with a creator who has the attributes of the god of classical theism results in a paradox: no world is possible. After exploring some ways out of (...)
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  25. Imprecise Probability and the Measurement of Keynes's "Weight of Arguments".William Peden - 2018 - IfCoLog Journal of Logics and Their Applications 5 (4):677-708.
    Many philosophers argue that Keynes’s concept of the “weight of arguments” is an important aspect of argument appraisal. The weight of an argument is the quantity of relevant evidence cited in the premises. However, this dimension of argumentation does not have a received method for formalisation. Kyburg has suggested a measure of weight that uses the degree of imprecision in his system of “Evidential Probability” to quantify weight. I develop and defend this approach to measuring weight. I illustrate the usefulness (...)
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  26. Decision Theory.Lara Buchak - 2016 - In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan Hajek (eds.), The 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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  27. https://archive.org/details/AspirationAndRealityOneOfMyFavouritePoems.Rituparna Ray Chaudhuri - 2016
    To read Literature by Generation today in majority, is not to pass on the subject only, rather more than this know what 'you' are learning.. ( http://philpapers.org/profile/112741 ).
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  28. 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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  29. The meaning of "darn it!".Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2015 - In Iwao Hirose & Andrew Reisner (eds.), Weighing and Reasoning: Themes from the Philosophy of John Broome. Oxford University Press. pp. 129-39.
    In decision-theory, the notion of regret enters into the minimax decision-rule and has a determinate usage in this context. However, there are many alternative ways of conceiving of regret. The chapter constructs the einmalist- nicht-keinmal ('once is not never') game, in which a single sampling radically changes the expected value of the game in a way that is quite counterintuitive, as the basis for studying regret after a loss following the choice of an uncertain action. Crucially, the very loss affects (...)
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  30. Egan and agents: How evidential decision theory can deal with Egan’s dilemma.Daniel Dohrn - 2015 - Synthese 192 (6):1883-1908.
    Andy Egan has presented a dilemma for decision theory. As is well known, Newcomb cases appear to undermine the case for evidential decision theory. However, Egan has come up with a new scenario which poses difficulties for causal decision theory. I offer a simple solution to this dilemma in terms of a modified EDT. I propose an epistemological test: take some feature which is relevant to your evaluation of the scenarios under consideration, evidentially correlated with the actions under consideration albeit, (...)
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  31. 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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  32. Causal Decision Theory and EPR correlations.Arif Ahmed & Adam Caulton - 2014 - Synthese 191 (18):4315-4352.
    The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction to show that anyone who gives any of the three hypotheses any (...)
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  33. 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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  34. Influencing the Others’ Minds: an Experimental Evaluation of the Use and Efficacy of Fallacious-reducible Arguments in Web and Mobile Technologies.Antonio Lieto & Fabiana Vernero - 2014 - PsychNology Journa 12 (3):87-105.
    The research in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) has nowadays extended its attention to the study of persuasive technologies. Following this line of research, in this paper we focus on websites and mobile applications in the e-commerce domain. In particular, we take them as an evident example of persuasive technologies. Starting from the hypothesis that there is a strong connection between logical fallacies, i.e., forms of reasoning which are logically invalid but psychologically persuasive, and some common persuasion strategies adopted within these (...)
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  35. Causal Decision Theory: A Counterexample.Arif Ahmed - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (2):289-306.
    The essay presents a novel counterexample to Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Its interest is that it generates a case in which CDT violates the very principles that motivated it in the first place. The essay argues that the objection applies to all extant formulations of CDT and that the only way out for that theory is a modification of it that entails incompatibilism. The essay invites the reader to find this consequence of CDT a reason to reject it.
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  36. How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets.Ken Binmore, Lisa Stewart & Alex Voorhoeve - 2012 - Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45 (3):215-38.
    Experimental results on the Ellsberg paradox typically reveal behavior that is commonly interpreted as ambiguity aversion. The experiments reported in the current paper find the objective probabilities for drawing a red ball that make subjects indifferent between various risky and uncertain Ellsberg bets. They allow us to examine the predictive power of alternative principles of choice under uncertainty, including the objective maximin and Hurwicz criteria, the sure-thing principle, and the principle of insufficient reason. Contrary to our expectations, the principle of (...)
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  37. Desire-as-Belief Revisited.Richard Bradley & Christian List - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
    On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...)
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  38. Perfectly Marked, Fair Tests with Unfair Marks.Joseph S. Fulda - 2009 - The Mathematical Gazette 93 (527):256-260.
    Shows how, as a consequence of the Arrow Impossibility Theorem, objectivity in grading is chimerical, given a sufficiently knowledgeable teacher (of his students, not his subject) in a sufficiently small class. -/- PDF available from JStor only; permission to post full version previously granted by journal editors and publisher expired. -/- Unpublished reply posted gratis.
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  39. Avoiding certain frustration, reflection, and the cable guy paradox.Brian Kierland, Bradley Monton & Samuel Ruhmkorff - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (3):317 - 333.
    We discuss the cable guy paradox, both as an object of interest in its own right and as something which can be used to illuminate certain issues in the theories of rational choice and belief. We argue that a crucial principle—The Avoid Certain Frustration (ACF) principle—which is used in stating the paradox is false, thus resolving the paradox. We also explain how the paradox gives us new insight into issues related to the Reflection principle. Our general thesis is that principles (...)
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  40. To Thine Own Self Be Untrue: A Diagnosis of the Cable Guy Paradox.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom & Peter Baumann - 2008 - Logique Et Analyse 51 (204):355-364.
    Hájek has recently presented the following paradox. You are certain that a cable guy will visit you tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. but you have no further information about when. And you agree to a bet on whether he will come in the morning interval (8, 12] or in the afternoon interval (12, 4). At first, you have no reason to prefer one possibility rather than the other. But you soon realise that there will definitely be a future (...)
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  41. The two-envelope paradox: An axiomatic approach.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2005 - Mind 114 (454):239-248.
    There has been much discussion on the two-envelope paradox. Clark and Shackel (2000) have proposed a solution to the paradox, which has been refuted by Meacham and Weisberg (2003). Surprisingly, however, the literature still contains no axiomatic justification for the claim that one should be indifferent between the two envelopes before opening one of them. According to Meacham and Weisberg, "decision theory does not rank swapping against sticking [before opening any envelope]" (p. 686). To fill this gap in the literature, (...)
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  42. Does Optimization Imply Rationality?Philippe Mongin - 2000 - Synthese 124 (1-2):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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  43. The infinite regress of optimization.Philippe Mongin - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):229-230.
    A comment on Paul Schoemaker's target article in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14 (1991), p. 205-215, "The Quest for Optimality: A Positive Heuristic of Science?" (https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X00066140). This comment argues that the optimizing model of decision leads to an infinite regress, once internal costs of decision (i.e., information and computation costs) are duly taken into account.
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  44. Pick the Sugar.Seamus Bradley - manuscript
    This paper presents a decision problem called the holiday puzzle. The decision problem is one that involves incommensurable goods and sequences of choices. This puzzle points to a tension between three prima facie plausible, but jointly incompatible claims. I present a way out of the trilemma which demonstrates that it is possible for agents to have incomplete preferences and to be dynamically rational. The solution also suggests that the relationship between preference and rational permission is more subtle than standardly assumed.
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  45. Reason-Based Rationalization.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - manuscript
    [This version of the paper has been superseded by "Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework", forthcoming in Economics & Philosophy.] -/- We introduce a “reason-based” way of rationalizing an agent’s choice behaviour, which explains choices by specifying which properties of the options or choice context the agent cares about (the “motivationally salient properties”) and how he or she cares about these properties (the “fundamental preference relation”). Reason-based rationalizations can explain non-classical choice behaviour, including boundedly rational and sophisticated rational behaviour, (...)
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  46. Incompleteness, Independence, and Negative Dominance.Harvey Lederman - manuscript
    This paper introduces the axiom of Negative Dominance, stating that if a lottery f is strictly preferred to a lottery g, then some outcome in the support of f is strictly preferred to some outcome in the support of g. It is shown that if preferences are incomplete on a sufficiently rich domain, then this plausible axiom, which holds for complete preferences, is incompatible with an array of otherwise plausible axioms for choice under uncertainty. In particular, in this setting, Negative (...)
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