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  1. Geometric Averaging in Consequentialist Ethics.Alfred Harwood - manuscript
    When faced with uncertainty, consequentialists often advocate choosing the option with the largest expected utility, as calculated using the arithmetic average. I provide some arguments to suggest that instead, one should consider choosing the option with the largest geometric average of utility. I explore the difference between these two approaches in a variety of ethical dilemmas and argue that geometric averaging has some appealing properties as a normative decision-making tool.
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  2. Against Anti-Fanaticism.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    Should you be willing to forego any sure good for a tiny probability of a vastly greater good? Fanatics say you should, anti-fanatics say you should not. Anti-fanaticism has great intuitive appeal. But, I argue, these intuitions are untenable, because satisfying them in their full generality is incompatible with three very plausible principles: acyclicity, a minimal dominance principle, and the principle that any outcome can be made better or worse. This argument against anti-fanaticism can be turned into a positive argument (...)
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  3. Exceeding Expectations: Stochastic Dominance as a General Decision Theory.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    The principle that rational agents should maximize expected utility or choiceworthiness is intuitively plausible in many ordinary cases of decision-making under uncertainty. But it is less plausible in cases of extreme, low-probability risk (like Pascal's Mugging), and intolerably paradoxical in cases like the St. Petersburg and Pasadena games. In this paper I show that, under certain conditions, stochastic dominance reasoning can capture most of the plausible implications of expectational reasoning while avoiding most of its pitfalls. Specifically, given sufficient background uncertainty (...)
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  4. Metanormative Regress: An Escape Plan.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    How should you decide what to do when you're uncertain about basic normative principles (e.g., Kantianism vs. utilitarianism)? A natural suggestion is to follow some "second-order" norm: e.g., "comply with the first-order norm you regard as most probable" or "maximize expected choiceworthiness". But what if you're uncertain about second-order norms too -- must you then invoke some third-order norm? If so, it seems that any norm-guided response to normative uncertainty is doomed to a vicious regress. In this paper, I aim (...)
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  5. Share the Sugar.Christian Tarsney, Harvey Lederman & Dean Spears - manuscript
    We provide a general argument against value incomparability, based on a new style of impossibility result. In particular, we show that, against plausible background assumptions, value incomparability creates an incompatibility between two very plausible principles for ranking lotteries: a weak "negative dominance" principle (to the effect that Lottery 1 can be better than Lottery 2 only if some possible outcome of Lottery 1 is better than some possible outcome of Lottery 2) and a weak form of ex ante Pareto (to (...)
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  6. Can an evidentialist be risk-averse?Hayden Wilkinson - manuscript
    Two key questions of normative decision theory are: 1) whether the probabilities relevant to decision theory are evidential or causal; and 2) whether agents should be risk-neutral, and so maximise the expected value of the outcome, or instead risk-averse (or otherwise sensitive to risk). These questions are typically thought to be independent---that our answer to one bears little on our answer to the other. But there is a surprising argument that they are not. In this paper, I show that evidential (...)
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  7. Must Prioritarians Be Antiegalitarian?Gustav Alexandrie - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy:1-15.
    It has been argued that Prioritarianism violates Risky Non-Antiegalitarianism, a condition stating roughly that an alternative is socially better than another if it both makes everyone better off in expectation and leads to more equality. I show that Risky Non-Antiegalitarianism is in fact compatible with Prioritarianism as ordinarily defined, but that it violates some other conditions that may be attractive to prioritarians. While I argue that the latter conditions are not core principles of Prioritarianism, the choice between these conditions and (...)
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  8. Counting Your Chickens.Yoaav Isaacs, Adam Lerner & Jeffrey Sanford Russell - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Suppose that, for reasons of animal welfare, it would be better if everyone stopped eating chicken. Does it follow that you should stop eating chicken? Proponents of the “inefficacy objection” argue that, due to the scale and complexity of markets, the expected effects of your chicken purchases are negligible. So the expected effects of eating chicken do not make it wrong. -/- We argue that this objection does not succeed, in two steps. First, empirical data about chicken production tells us (...)
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  9. The Value of Normative Information.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper explores the idea that it is instrumentally valuable to learn normative truths. We consider an argument for "normative hedging" based on this principle, and examine the structure of decision-making under moral uncertainty that arises from it. But it also turns out that the value of normative information is inconsistent with the principle that learning *empirical* truths is instrumentally valuable. We conclude with a brief comment on "metanormative regress.".
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  10. Path Independence and a Persistent Paradox of Population Ethics.Rush T. Stewart - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    In the face of an impossibility result, some assumption must be relaxed. The Mere Addition Paradox is an impossibility result in population ethics. Here, I explore substantially weakening the decision-theoretic assumptions involved. The central finding is that the Mere Addition Paradox persists even in the general framework of choice functions when we assume Path Independence as a minimal decision-theoretic constraint. Choice functions can be thought of either as generalizing the standard axiological assumption of a binary “betterness” relation, or as providing (...)
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  11. Metanormative regress: an escape plan.Christian Tarsney - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    How should you decide what to do when you’re uncertain about basic normative principles? A natural suggestion is to follow some "second-order:" norm: e.g., obey the most probable norm or maximize expected choiceworthiness. But what if you’re uncertain about second-order norms too—must you then invoke some third-order norm? If so, any norm-guided response to normative uncertainty appears doomed to a vicious regress. This paper aims to rescue second-order norms from the threat of regress. I first elaborate and defend the claim (...)
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  12. On Two Arguments for Fanaticism.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2023 - Noûs.
    Should we make significant sacrifices to ever-so-slightly lower the chance of extremely bad outcomes, or to ever-so-slightly raise the chance of extremely good outcomes? *Fanaticism* says yes: for every bad outcome, there is a tiny chance of extreme disaster that is even worse, and for every good outcome, there is a tiny chance of an enormous good that is even better. I consider two related recent arguments for Fanaticism: Beckstead and Thomas's argument from *strange dependence on space and time*, and (...)
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  13. The epistemic challenge to longtermism.Christian Tarsney - 2023 - Synthese 201 (6):1-37.
    Longtermists claim that what we ought to do is mainly determined by how our actions might affect the very long-run future. A natural objection to longtermism is that these effects may be nearly impossible to predict — perhaps so close to impossible that, despite the astronomical importance of the far future, the expected value of our present actions is mainly determined by near-term considerations. This paper aims to precisify and evaluate one version of this epistemic objection to longtermism. To that (...)
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  14. Average Utilitarianism Implies Solipsistic Egoism.Christian J. Tarsney - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (1):140-151.
    ABSTRACT Average utilitarianism and several related axiologies, when paired with the standard expectational theory of decision-making under risk and with reasonable empirical credences, can find their practical prescriptions overwhelmingly determined by the minuscule probability that the agent assigns to solipsism—that is, to the hypothesis that there is only one welfare subject in the world, namely, herself. This either (i) constitutes a reductio of these axiologies, (ii) suggests that they require bespoke decision theories, or (iii) furnishes an unexpected argument for ethical (...)
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  15. Taking Risks on Behalf of Another.Johanna Thoma - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (3):e12898.
    A growing number of decision theorists have, in recent years, defended the view that rationality is permissive under risk: Different rational agents may be more or less risk-averse or risk-inclined. This can result in them making different choices under risk even if they value outcomes in exactly the same way. One pressing question that arises once we grant such permissiveness is what attitude to risk we should implement when choosing on behalf of other people. Are we permitted to implement any (...)
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  16. 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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  17. Ex-Ante Prioritarianism Violates Sequential Ex-Ante Pareto.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2022 - Utilitas 34 (2):167-177.
    Prioritarianism is a variant of utilitarianism. It differs from utilitarianism in that benefiting individuals matters more the worse off these individuals are. On this view, there are two standard ways of handling risky prospects: Ex-Post Prioritarianism adjusts for prioritizing the worse off in final outcomes and then values prospects by the expectation of the sum total of those adjusted values, whereas Ex-Ante Prioritarianism adjusts for prioritizing the worse off on each individual's expectation and then values prospects by the sum total (...)
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  18. Capacity for simulation and mitigation drives hedonic and non-hedonic time biases.Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (2):226-252.
    Until recently, philosophers debating the rationality of time-biases have supposed that people exhibit a first-person hedonic bias toward the future, but that their non-hedonic and third-person preferences are time-neutral. Recent empirical work, however, suggests that our preferences are more nuanced. First, there is evidence that our third-person preferences exhibit time-neutrality only when the individual with respect to whom we have preferences—the preference target—is a random stranger about whom we know nothing; given access to some information about the preference target, third-person (...)
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  19. Tiny Probabilities of Vast Value.Petra Kosonen - 2022 - Dissertation, Oxford University
    The topic of this thesis is how we should treat tiny probabilities of vast value. This thesis consists of six independent papers. Chapter 1 discusses the idea that utilities are bounded. It shows that bounded decision theories prescribe prospects that are better for no one and worse for some if combined with an additive axiology. Chapter 2, in turn, points out that standard axiomatizations of Expected Utility Theory violate dominance in cases that involve possible states of zero probability. Chapters 3–6 (...)
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  20. Hope as a Source of Grit.Catherine Rioux - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (33):264-287.
    Psychologists and philosophers have argued that the capacity for perseverance or “grit” depends both on willpower and on a kind of epistemic resilience. But can a form of hopefulness in one’s future success also constitute a source of grit? I argue that substantial practical hopefulness, as a hope to bring about a desired outcome through exercises of one’s agency, can serve as a distinctive ground for the capacity for perseverance. Gritty agents’ “practical hope” centrally involves an attention-fuelled, risk-inclined weighting of (...)
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  21. Uncertainty Phobia and Epistemic Forbearance in a Pandemic.Nicholas Shackel - 2022 - In Anneli Jefferson, S. Orestis Palermos, Panos Paris & Jonathan Webber (eds.), Values and Virtues for a Challenging World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 271-291.
    In this chapter I show how challenges to our ability to tame the uncertainty of a pandemic leaves us vulnerable to uncertainty phobia. This is because not all the uncertainty that matters can be tamed by our knowledge of the relevant probabilities, contrary to what many believe. We are vulnerable because unrelievable wild uncertainty is a hard burden to bear, especially so when we must act in the face of it. -/- The source of unrelievable wild uncertainty is that the (...)
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  22. Continuity and catastrophic risk.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2022 - Economics and Philosophy 38 (2):266-274.
    Suppose that a decision-maker's aim, under certainty, is to maximise some continuous value, such as lifetime income or continuous social welfare. Can such a decision-maker rationally satisfy what has been called "continuity for easy cases" while at the same time satisfying what seems to be a widespread intuition against the full-blown continuity axiom of expected utility theory? In this note I argue that the answer is "no": given transitivity and a weak trade-off principle, continuity for easy cases violates the anti-continuity (...)
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  23. Risk Imposition by Artificial Agents: The Moral Proxy Problem.Johanna Thoma - 2022 - In Silja Voeneky, Philipp Kellmeyer, Oliver Mueller & Wolfram Burgard (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Responsible Artificial Intelligence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
    Where artificial agents are not liable to be ascribed true moral agency and responsibility in their own right, we can understand them as acting as proxies for human agents, as making decisions on their behalf. What I call the ‘Moral Proxy Problem’ arises because it is often not clear for whom a specific artificial agent is acting as a moral proxy. In particular, we need to decide whether artificial agents should be acting as proxies for low-level agents — e.g. individual (...)
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  24. In Defense of Fanaticism.Hayden Wilkinson - 2022 - Ethics 132 (2):445-477.
    Which is better: a guarantee of a modest amount of moral value, or a tiny probability of arbitrarily large value? To prefer the latter seems fanatical. But, as I argue, avoiding such fanaticism brings severe problems. To do so, we must decline intuitively attractive trade-offs; rank structurally identical pairs of lotteries inconsistently, or else admit absurd sensitivity to tiny probability differences; have rankings depend on remote, unaffected events ; and often neglect to rank lotteries as we already know we would (...)
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  25. Can risk aversion survive the long run?Hayden Wilkinson - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):625-647.
    Can it be rational to be risk-averse? It seems plausible that the answer is yes—that normative decision theory should accommodate risk aversion. But there is a seemingly compelling class of arguments against our most promising methods of doing so. These long-run arguments point out that, in practice, each decision an agent makes is just one in a very long sequence of such decisions. Given this form of dynamic choice situation, and the (Strong) Law of Large Numbers, they conclude that those (...)
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  26. ‘Pure’ Time Preferences Are Irrelevant to the Debate over Time Bias: A Plea for Zero Time Discounting as the Normative Standard.Preston Greene - 2021 - Australasian Philosophical Review 5 (3):254-265.
    I find much to like in Craig Callender's [2022] arguments for the rational permissibility of non-exponential time discounting when these arguments are viewed in a conditional form: viz., if one thinks that time discounting is rationally permissible, as the social scientist does, then one should think that non-exponential time discounting is too. However, time neutralists believe that time discounting is rationally impermissible, and thus they take zero time discounting to be the normative standard. The time neutralist rejects time discounting because (...)
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  27. Normative uncertainty and information value.Riley Harris - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Adelaide
    This thesis is about making decisions when we are uncertain about what will happen, how valuable it will be, and even how to make decisions. Even the most sure-footed amongst us are sometimes uncertain about all three, but surprisingly little attention has been given to the latter two. The three essays that constitute my thesis hope to do a small part in rectifying this problem. The first essay is about the value of finding out how to make decisions. Society spends (...)
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  28. Existential risk from AI and orthogonality: Can we have it both ways?Vincent C. Müller & Michael Cannon - 2021 - Ratio 35 (1):25-36.
    The standard argument to the conclusion that artificial intelligence (AI) constitutes an existential risk for the human species uses two premises: (1) AI may reach superintelligent levels, at which point we humans lose control (the ‘singularity claim’); (2) Any level of intelligence can go along with any goal (the ‘orthogonality thesis’). We find that the singularity claim requires a notion of ‘general intelligence’, while the orthogonality thesis requires a notion of ‘instrumental intelligence’. If this interpretation is correct, they cannot be (...)
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  29. Uncertain Values: An Axiomatic Approach to Axiological Uncertainty.Stefan Riedener - 2021 - Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.
    How ought you to evaluate your options if you're uncertain about what's fundamentally valuable? A prominent response is Expected Value Maximisation (EVM)—the view that under axiological uncertainty, an option is better than another if and only if it has the greater expected value across axiologies. But the expected value of an option depends on quantitative probability and value facts, and in particular on value comparisons across axiologies. We need to explain what it is for such facts to hold. Also, EVM (...)
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  30. A Case Study in the Problem of Policymaker Ignorance: Political Responses to COVID-19.Scott Scheall & Parker Crutchfield - 2021 - Cosmos + Taxis: Studies in Emergent Order and Organization 9 (5 + 6):18-28.
    We apply the analysis that we have developed over the course of several publications on the significance of ignorance for decision-making, especially in surrogate (and, thus, in political) contexts, to political decision-making, such as it has been, during the COVID-19 pandemic (see Scheall 2019; Crutchfield and Scheall 2019; Scheall and Crutchfield 2020; Scheall 2020). Policy responses to the coronavirus constitute a case study of the problem of policymaker ignorance. We argue that political responses to the virus cannot be explained by (...)
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  31. An intrapersonal, intertemporal solution to an interpersonal dilemma.Valerie Soon - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3353-3370.
    It is commonly accepted that what we ought to do collectively does not imply anything about what each of us ought to do individually. According to this line of reasoning, if cooperating will make no difference to an outcome, then you are not morally required to do it. And if cooperating will be personally costly to you as well, this is an even stronger reason to not do it. However, this reasoning results in a self-defeating, yet entirely predictable outcome. If (...)
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  32. Uncertainty, equality, fraternity.Rush T. Stewart - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9603-9619.
    Epistemic states of uncertainty play important roles in ethical and political theorizing. Theories that appeal to a “veil of ignorance,” for example, analyze fairness or impartiality in terms of certain states of ignorance. It is important, then, to scrutinize proposed conceptions of ignorance and explore promising alternatives in such contexts. Here, I study Lerner’s probabilistic egalitarian theorem in the setting of imprecise probabilities. Lerner’s theorem assumes that a social planner tasked with distributing income to individuals in a population is “completely (...)
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  33. Vive la Différence? Structural Diversity as a Challenge for Metanormative Theories.Christian J. Tarsney - 2021 - Ethics 131 (2):151-182.
    Decision-making under normative uncertainty requires an agent to aggregate the assessments of options given by rival normative theories into a single assessment that tells her what to do in light of her uncertainty. But what if the assessments of rival theories differ not just in their content but in their structure -- e.g., some are merely ordinal while others are cardinal? This paper describes and evaluates three general approaches to this "problem of structural diversity": structural enrichment, structural depletion, and multi-stage (...)
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  34. Ignore risk; Maximize expected moral value.Michael Zhao - 2021 - Noûs 57 (1):144-161.
    Many philosophers assume that, when making moral decisions under uncertainty, we should choose the option that has the greatest expected moral value, regardless of how risky it is. But their arguments for maximizing expected moral value do not support it over rival, risk-averse approaches. In this paper, I present a novel argument for maximizing expected value: when we think about larger series of decisions that each decision is a part of, all but the most risk-averse agents would prefer that we (...)
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  35. 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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  36. Consequentialism and Collective Action.Brian Hedden - 2020 - Ethics 130 (4):530-554.
    Many consequentialists argue that you ought to do your part in collective action problems like climate change mitigation and ending factory farming because (i) all such problems are triggering cases, in which there is a threshold number of people such that the outcome will be worse if at least that many people act in a given way than if fewer do, and (ii) doing your part in a triggering case maximises expected value. I show that both (i) and (ii) are (...)
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  37. Frege’s puzzle and the ex ante Pareto principle.Anna Mahtani - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2077-2100.
    The ex ante Pareto principle has an intuitive pull, and it has been a principle of central importance since Harsanyi’s defence of utilitarianism. The principle has been used to criticize and refine a range of positions in welfare economics, including egalitarianism and prioritarianism. But this principle faces a serious problem. I have argued elsewhere :303-323 2017) that the concept of ex ante Pareto superiority is not well defined, because its application in a choice situation concerning a fixed population can depend (...)
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  38. Utilitarianism with and without expected utility.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Joaquin Teruji Thomas - 2020 - Journal of Mathematical Economics 87:77-113.
    We give two social aggregation theorems under conditions of risk, one for constant population cases, the other an extension to variable populations. Intra and interpersonal welfare comparisons are encoded in a single ‘individual preorder’. The theorems give axioms that uniquely determine a social preorder in terms of this individual preorder. The social preorders described by these theorems have features that may be considered characteristic of Harsanyi-style utilitarianism, such as indifference to ex ante and ex post equality. However, the theorems are (...)
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  39. Rank-Weighted Utilitarianism and the Veil of Ignorance.Jacob M. Nebel - 2020 - Ethics 131 (1):87-106.
    Lara Buchak argues for a version of rank-weighted utilitarianism that assigns greater weight to the interests of the worse off. She argues that our distributive principles should be derived from the preferences of rational individuals behind a veil of ignorance, who ought to be risk averse. I argue that Buchak’s appeal to the veil of ignorance leads to a particular way of extending rank-weighted utilitarianism to the evaluation of uncertain prospects. This method recommends choices that violate the unanimous preferences of (...)
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  40. Demographic statistics in defensive decisions.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4833-4850.
    A popular informal argument suggests that statistics about the preponderance of criminal involvement among particular demographic groups partially justify others in making defensive mistakes against members of the group. One could worry that evidence-relative accounts of moral rights vindicate this argument. After constructing the strongest form of this objection, I offer several replies: most demographic statistics face an unmet challenge from reference class problems, even those that meet it fail to ground non-negligible conditional probabilities, even if they did, they introduce (...)
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  41. Risky Killing: How Risks Worsen Violations of Objective Rights.Seth Lazar - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (1):1-26.
    I argue that riskier killings of innocent people are, other things equal, objectively worse than less risky killings. I ground these views in considerations of disrespect and security. Killing someone more riskily shows greater disrespect for him by more grievously undervaluing his standing and interests, and more seriously undermines his security by exposing a disposition to harm him across all counterfactual scenarios in which the probability of killing an innocent person is that high or less. I argue that the salient (...)
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  42. Choosing for Changing Selves.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What we value, like, endorse, want, and prefer changes over the course of our lives. Richard Pettigrew presents a theory of rational decision making for agents who recognise that their values will change over time and whose decisions will affect those future times.
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  43. 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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  44. Moral conditions for methodologically rational decisions.Jan F. Jacko - 2018 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 111:209–223.
    The study’s main thesis is that respect for some moral values is a condition for methodologically rational decisions, namely, decisions which do not satisfy the condition are either not methodologically rational at all, or not fully rational. The paper shows supporting arguments for the thesis in terms of the philosophical theories by Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Max Weber, Jean-Paul Sartre and some other thinkers. Their presentation undergoes phenomenological analysis of the phenomenon of decision making.
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  45. Limited Aggregation and Risk.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (2):117-159.
    Many of us believe (1) Saving a life is more important than averting any number of headaches. But what about risky cases? Surely: (2) In a single choice, if the risk of death is low enough, and the number of headaches at stake high enough, one should avert the headaches rather than avert the risk of death. And yet, if we will face enough iterations of cases like that in (2), in the long run some of those small risks of (...)
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  46. Intertheoretic Value Comparison: A Modest Proposal.Christian Tarsney - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):324-344.
    In the growing literature on decision-making under moral uncertainty, a number of skeptics have argued that there is an insuperable barrier to rational "hedging" for the risk of moral error, namely the apparent incomparability of moral reasons given by rival theories like Kantianism and utilitarianism. Various general theories of intertheoretic value comparison have been proposed to meet this objection, but each suffers from apparently fatal flaws. In this paper, I propose a more modest approach that aims to identify classes of (...)
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  47. Moral Uncertainty for Deontologists.Christian Tarsney - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):505-520.
    Defenders of deontological constraints in normative ethics face a challenge: how should an agent decide what to do when she is uncertain whether some course of action would violate a constraint? The most common response to this challenge has been to defend a threshold principle on which it is subjectively permissible to act iff the agent's credence that her action would be constraint-violating is below some threshold t. But the threshold approach seems arbitrary and unmotivated: what would possibly determine where (...)
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  48. The Relatively Infinite Value of the Environment.Paul Bartha & C. Tyler DesRoches - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):328-353.
    Some environmental ethicists and economists argue that attributing infinite value to the environment is a good way to represent an absolute obligation to protect it. Others argue against modelling the value of the environment in this way: the assignment of infinite value leads to immense technical and philosophical difficulties that undermine the environmentalist project. First, there is a problem of discrimination: saving a large region of habitat is better than saving a small region; yet if both outcomes have infinite value, (...)
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  49. What matters and how it matters: A choice-theoretic representation of moral theories.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):421-479.
    We present a new “reason-based” approach to the formal representation of moral theories, drawing on recent decision-theoretic work. We show that any moral theory within a very large class can be represented in terms of two parameters: a specification of which properties of the objects of moral choice matter in any given context, and a specification of how these properties matter. Reason-based representations provide a very general taxonomy of moral theories, as differences among theories can be attributed to differences in (...)
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  50. Decision Theory.Ben Eggleston - 2017 - In Sacha Golob & Jens Timmermann (eds.), The Cambridge History of Moral Philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 706-717.
    A book chapter (about 4,000 words, plus references) on decision theory in moral philosophy, with particular attention to uses of decision theory in specifying the contents of moral principles (e.g., expected-value forms of act and rule utilitarianism), uses of decision theory in arguing in support of moral principles (e.g., the hypothetical-choice arguments of Harsanyi and Rawls), and attempts to derive morality from rationality (e.g., the views of Gauthier and McClennen).
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