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  1. added 2020-09-06
    Expanding the Nudge: Designing Choice Contexts and Choice Contents.Kalle Grill - 2014 - Rationality, Markets and Morals 5:139-162.
    To nudge is to design choice contexts in order to improve choice outcomes. Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein emphatically endorse nudging but reject more restrictive means. In contrast, I argue that the behavioral psychology that motivates nudging also motivates what may be called jolting — i.e. the design of choice content. I defend nudging and jolting by distinguishing them from the sometimes oppressive means with which they can be implemented, by responding to some common arguments against nudging, and by showing (...)
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  2. added 2020-08-17
    A Hyper-Relation Characterization of Weak Pseudo-Rationalizability.Rush T. Stewart - forthcoming - Journal of Mathematical Psychology.
    I provide a characterization of weakly pseudo-rationalizable choice functions---that is, choice functions rationalizable by a set of acyclic relations---in terms of hyper-relations satisfying certain properties. For those hyper-relations Nehring calls extended preference relations, the central characterizing condition is weaker than (hyper-relation) transitivity but stronger than (hyper-relation) acyclicity. Furthermore, the relevant type of hyper-relation can be represented as the intersection of a certain class of its extensions. These results generalize known, analogous results for path independent choice functions.
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  3. added 2020-07-24
    Infinite Prospects.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & Yoaav Isaacs - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    People with the kind of preferences that give rise to the St. Petersburg paradox are problematic---but not because there is anything wrong with infinite utilities. Rather, such people cannot assign the St. Petersburg gamble any value that any kind of outcome could possibly have. Their preferences also violate an infinitary generalization of Savage's Sure Thing Principle, which we call the *Countable Sure Thing Principle*, as well as an infinitary generalization of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Independence axiom, which we call *Countable (...)
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  4. added 2020-07-12
    Why Are People so Darn Past Biased?Preston Greene, Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - In Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Alison Sutton Fernandes (eds.), Temporal Asymmetries in Philosophy and Psychology. OUP.
    Many philosophers have assumed that our preferences regarding hedonic events exhibit a bias toward the future: we prefer positive experiences to be in our future and negative experiences to be in our past. Recent experimental work by Greene et al. (ms) confirmed this assumption. However, they noted a potential for some participants to respond in a deviant manner, and hence for their methodology to underestimate the percentage of people who are time neutral, and overestimate the percentage who are future biased. (...)
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  5. added 2020-07-12
    Functionalism and the Role of Psychology in Economics.Christopher Clarke - forthcoming - Journal of Economic Methodology:1-19.
    Should economics study the psychological basis of agents' choice behaviour? I show how this question is multifaceted and profoundly ambiguous. There is no sharp distinction between "mentalist'' answers to this question and rival "behavioural'' answers. What's more, clarifying this point raises problems for mentalists of the "functionalist'' variety (Dietrich and List, 2016). Firstly, functionalist hypotheses collapse into hypotheses about input--output dispositions, I show, unless one places some unwelcome restrictions on what counts as a cognitive variable. Secondly, functionalist hypotheses make some (...)
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  6. added 2020-06-02
    The Case for Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - manuscript
    We argue that all gradable expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns of (...)
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  7. added 2020-04-25
    Infinite Prospects.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & Yoaav Isaacs - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    People with the kind of preferences that give rise to the St. Petersburg paradox are problematic---but not because there is anything wrong with infinite utilities. Rather, such people cannot assign the St. Petersburg gamble any value that any kind of outcome could possibly have. Their preferences also violate an infinitary generalization of Savage's Sure Thing Principle, which we call the *Countable Sure Thing Principle*, as well as an infinitary generalization of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Independence axiom, which we call *Countable (...)
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  8. added 2020-04-25
    Non-Archimedean Preferences Over Countable Lotteries.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2020 - Journal of Mathematical Economics 88 (May 2020):180-186.
    We prove a representation theorem for preference relations over countably infinite lotteries that satisfy a generalized form of the Independence axiom, without assuming Continuity. The representing space consists of lexicographically ordered transfinite sequences of bounded real numbers. This result is generalized to preference orders on abstract superconvex spaces.
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  9. added 2020-04-18
    Anti-Terrorism Politics and the Risk of Provoking.Franz Dietrich - 2014 - Journal of Theoretical Politics 3 (26):405-41.
    Tough anti-terrorism policies are often defended by focusing on a fixed minority of the population who prefer violent outcomes, and arguing that toughness reduces the risk of terrorism from this group. This reasoning implicitly assumes that tough policies do not increase the group of 'potential terrorists', i.e., of people with violent preferences. Preferences and their level of violence are treated as stable, exogenously fixed features. To avoid this unrealis- tic assumption, I formulate a model in which policies can 'brutalise' or (...)
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  10. added 2020-04-16
    This Paper Might Change Your Mind.Josh Dever & Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Rational decision change can happen without information change. This is a problem for standard views of decision theory, on which linguistic intervention in rational decision-making is captured in terms of information change. But the standard view gives us no way to model interventions involving expressions that only have an attentional effects on conversational contexts. How are expressions with non-informational content - like epistemic modals - used to intervene in rational decision making? We show how to model rational decision change without (...)
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  11. added 2020-04-03
    Rationality and Future Discounting.Arif Ahmed - 2018 - Topoi 39 (2):245-256.
    The best justification of time-discounting is roughly that it is rational to care less about your more distant future because there is less of you around to have it. I argue that the standard version of this argument, which treats both psychological continuity and psychological connectedness as reasons to care about your future, can only rationalize an irrational—because exploitable—form of future discounting.
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  12. added 2020-02-25
    How To Be Rational: How to Think and Act Rationally.David Robert - manuscript
    This paper is divided into 4 sections. In Sections 1 and 2, I address (1) how to acquire rational belief attitudes and (2) how to make rational choices. Building on Sections 1 and 2, I then answer two of the most pressing questions of our time: (3) Should you be skeptical of climate change? (4) Should you invest in life-extension medical research?
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  13. added 2020-01-08
    Weak Pseudo-Rationalizability.Rush Stewart - forthcoming - Mathematical Social Sciences.
    This paper generalizes rationalizability of a choice function by a single acyclic binary relation to rationalizability by a set of such relations. Rather than selecting those options in a menu that are maximal with respect to a single binary relation, a weakly pseudo-rationalizable choice function selects those options that are maximal with respect to at least one binary relation in a given set. I characterize the class of weakly pseudo-rationalizable choice functions in terms of simple functional properties. This result also (...)
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  14. added 2019-12-29
    Farewell to Arms? The All-or-Nothing Problem Again.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Joe Horton’s all-or-nothing problem concerns a situation in which it is morally permissible to do nothing and to save two people but not to save only one. This description seems to entail that we should do nothing rather than save only one. I object to Horton’s solution and challenge a principle he draws attention to, which is required to generate the problem but which Horton regards as beyond dispute.
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  15. added 2019-10-28
    Moral Hazard, the Savage Framework, and State-Dependent Utility.Jean Baccelli - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    In this paper, I investigate the betting behavior of a decision-maker who can influence the likelihood of the events upon which she is betting. In decision theory, this is best known as a situation of moral hazard. Focusing on a particularly simple case, I sketch the first systematic analysis of moral hazard in the canonical Savage framework. From the results of this analysis, I draw two philosophical conclusions. First, from an observational and a descriptive point of view, there need to (...)
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  16. added 2019-09-28
    Aggregating Dependency Graphs Into Voting Agendas in Multi-Issue Elections.Stephane Airiau, Ulle Endriss, Umberto Grandi, Daniele Porello & Joel Uckelman - 2011 - In {IJCAI} 2011, Proceedings of the 22nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, July 16-22, 2011. pp. 18--23.
    Many collective decision making problems have a combinatorial structure: the agents involved must decide on multiple issues and their preferences over one issue may depend on the choices adopted for some of the others. Voting is an attractive method for making collective decisions, but conducting a multi-issue election is challenging. On the one hand, requiring agents to vote by expressing their preferences over all combinations of issues is computationally infeasible; on the other, decomposing the problem into several elections on smaller (...)
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  17. added 2019-09-24
    Towards an Ontological Modelling of Preference Relations.Daniele Porello & Giancarlo Guizzardi - 2018 - In C. Ghidini, B. Magnini, A. Passerini & P. Traverso (eds.), AI*IA 2018 - Advances in Artificial Intelligence - XVIIth International Conference of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence, Trento, Italy, November 20-23, 2018, Proceedings. pp. 152--165.
    Preference relations are intensively studied in Economics, but they are also approached in AI, Knowledge Representation, and Conceptual Modelling, as they provide a key concept in a variety of domains of application. In this paper, we propose an ontological foundation of preference relations to formalise their essential aspects across domains. Firstly, we shall discuss what is the ontological status of the relata of a preference relation. Secondly, we investigate the place of preference relations within a rich taxonomy of relations (e.g. (...)
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  18. added 2019-09-21
    Risk Attitudes in Axiomatic Decision Theory: A Conceptual Perspective.Jean Baccelli - 2018 - Theory and Decision 84 (1):61-82.
    In this paper, I examine the decision-theoretic status of risk attitudes. I start by providing evidence showing that the risk attitude concepts do not play a major role in the axiomatic analysis of the classic models of decision-making under risk. This can be interpreted as reflecting the neutrality of these models between the possible risk attitudes. My central claim, however, is that such neutrality needs to be qualified and the axiomatic relevance of risk attitudes needs to be re-evaluated accordingly. Specifically, (...)
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  19. added 2019-09-21
    Le comportement et le concept de choix.Jean Baccelli - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (1):43-60.
    This note considers the conceptual part of Sen’s «Internal Consistency of Choice». Amongst the various claims this paper features, two are singled out. A first, negative, claim is that no formal condition of choice consistency is normatively compelling without exception. A second, positive, claim, is that a formal condition of choice consistency is normatively compelling only under some assumptions involving preference. Here, the puzzling choices Sen puts forward are scrutinized and it is argued that such a scrutiny leads to question (...)
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  20. added 2019-07-05
    Betting Against the Zen Monk: On Preferences and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    According to the preference-centric approach to understanding partial belief, the connection between partial beliefs and preferences is key to understanding what partial beliefs are and how they’re measured. As Ramsey put it, the ‘degree of a belief is a causal property of it, which we can express vaguely as the extent to which we are prepared to act on it’ The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays, Routledge, Oxon, pp 156–198, 1931). But this idea is not as popular as (...)
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  21. added 2018-07-24
    Single-Peakedness and Semantic Dimensions of Preferences.Daniele Porello - 2016 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (4).
    Among the possible solutions to the paradoxes of collective preferences, single-peakedness is significant because it has been associated to a suggestive conceptual interpretation: a single-peaked preference profile entails that, although individuals may disagree on which option is the best, they conceptualize the choice along a shared unique dimension, i.e. they agree on the rationale of the collective decision. In this article, we discuss the relationship between the structural property of singlepeakedness and its suggested interpretation as uni-dimensionality of a social choice. (...)
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  22. added 2018-07-24
    On the Elusive Notion of Meta-Agreement.Valeria Ottonelli & Daniele Porello - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (1):68-92.
    Public deliberation has been defended as a rational and noncoercive way to overcome paradoxical results from democratic voting, by promoting consensus on the available alternatives on the political agenda. Some critics have argued that full consensus is too demanding and inimical to pluralism and have pointed out that single-peakedness, a much less stringent condition, is sufficient to overcome voting paradoxes. According to these accounts, deliberation can induce single-peakedness through the creation of a ‘meta-agreement’, that is, agreement on the dimension according (...)
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  23. added 2018-02-21
    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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  24. 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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  25. added 2017-10-05
    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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  26. added 2017-09-03
    Thinking, Acting, Considering.Daniel Muñoz - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):255-270.
    According to a familiar (alleged) requirement on practical reason, one must believe a proposition if one is to take it for granted in reasoning about what to do. This paper explores a related requirement, not on thinking but on acting—that one must accept a goal if one is to count as acting for its sake. This is the acceptance requirement. Although it is endorsed by writers as diverse as Christine Korsgaard, Donald Davidson, and Talbot Brewer, I argue that it is (...)
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  27. 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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  28. added 2017-02-02
    Reasoning About Outcome Probabilities and Values in Preference Reversals.Marcus Selart, Ole Boe & Tommy Garling - 1999 - Thinking and Reasoning 5 (2):175 – 188.
    Research on preference reversals has demonstrated a disproportionate influence of outcome probability on choices between monetary gambles. The aim was to investigate the hypothesis that this is a prominence effect originally demonstrated for riskless choice. Another aim was to test the structure compatibility hypothesis as an explanation of the effect. The hypothesis implies that probability should be the prominent attribute when compared with value attributes both in a choice and a preference rating procedure. In Experiment 1, two groups of undergraduates (...)
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  29. added 2017-01-25
    A Deluxe Money Pump.Tom Dougherty - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):21-29.
    So-called money pump arguments aim to show that intransitive preferences are irrational because they will lead someone to accept a series of deals that leaves his/her financially worse off and better off in no respect. A common response to these arguments is the foresight response, which counters that the agent in question may see the exploitation coming, and refuse to trade at all. To obviate this response, I offer a “deluxe money pump argument” that applies dominance reasoning to a modified (...)
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  30. added 2016-09-30
    The Metaphysics of Economic Exchanges.Massin Olivier & Tieffenbach Emma - 2017 - Journal of Social Ontology 3 (2):167-205.
    What are economic exchanges? The received view has it that exchanges are mutual transfers of goods motivated by inverse valuations thereof. As a corollary, the standard approach treats exchanges of services as a subspecies of exchanges of goods. We raise two objections against this standard approach. First, it is incomplete, as it fails to take into account, among other things, the offers and acceptances that lie at the core of even the simplest cases of exchanges. Second, it ultimately fails to (...)
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  31. 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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  32. added 2016-02-26
    Choice-Based Cardinal Utility. A Tribute to Patrick Suppes.Jean Baccelli & 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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  33. 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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  34. added 2015-09-22
    Preferences and Positivist Methodology in Economics.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (2):192-212.
    I distinguish several doctrines that economic methodologists have found attractive, all of which have a positivist flavour. One of these is the doctrine that preference assignments in economics are just shorthand descriptions of agents' choice behaviour. Although most of these doctrines are problematic, the latter doctrine about preference assignments is a respectable one, I argue. It doesn't entail any of the problematic doctrines, and indeed it is warranted independently of them.
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  35. added 2015-09-12
    A Foundation for Causal Decision Theory.Brad Armendt - 1986 - Topoi 5 (1):3-19.
    The primary aim of this paper is the presentation of a foundation for causal decision theory. This is worth doing because causal decision theory (CDT) is philosophically the most adequate rational decision theory now available. I will not defend that claim here by elaborate comparison of the theory with all its competitors, but by providing the foundation. This puts the theory on an equal footing with competitors for which foundations have already been given. It turns out that it will also (...)
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  36. added 2015-09-10
    Introspection, Revealed Preference and Neoclassical Economics: A Critical Response to Don Ross on the Robbins-Samuelson Argument Pattern.D. Wade Hands - 2008 - Journal of the History of Economic Thought 30:1-26.
    Abstract: Don Ross’ Economic Theory and Cognitive Science (2005) provides an elaborate philosophical defense of neoclassical economics. He argues that the central features of neoclassical theory are associated with what he calls the Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern and that it can be reconciled with recent developments in experimental and behavioral economics, as well as contemporary cognitive science. This paper argues that Ross’ Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern is not in the work of either Robbins or Samuelson and in many ways is in conflict (...)
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  37. added 2015-06-22
    Sur la symétrie présumée entre valeurs et préférences.Mauro Rossi - 2014 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 9 (2):82-98.
    Comment pouvons-nous analyser des relations de valeur non standards, comme la parité axiologique, en termes d’attitudes appropriées? Wlodek Rabinowicz suggère que deux choses sont à parité si et seulement si il est à la fois permissible de préférer l’une à l’autre et permissible d’avoir la préférence contraire. Dans un article récent, Johan Gustafsson soutient toutefois que l’analyse de Rabinowicz viole un principe de symétrie entre valeurs et préférences, selon lequel il existe pour toute relation de valeur une relation de préférence (...)
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  38. added 2015-04-18
    Don’T Be an Ass: Rational Choice and its Limits.Marc Champagne - 2015 - Reason Papers 37 (1):137-147.
    Deliberation is often seen as the site of human freedom, but the binding power of rationality seems to imply that deliberation is, in its own way, a deterministic process. If one knows the starting preferences and circumstances of an agent, then, assuming that the agent is rational and that those preferences and circumstances don’t change, one should be in a position to predict what the agent will decide. However, given that an agent could conceivably confront equally attractive alternatives, it is (...)
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  39. added 2014-09-06
    The Locality and Globality of Instrumental Rationality: The Normative Significance of Preference Reversals.Brian Kim - 2014 - Synthese 191 (18):4353-4376.
    When we ask a decision maker to express her preferences, it is typically assumed that we are eliciting a pre-existing set of preferences. However, empirical research has suggested that our preferences are often constructed on the fly for the decision problem at hand. This paper explores the ramifications of this empirical research for our understanding of instrumental rationality. First, I argue that these results pose serious challenges for the traditional decision-theoretic view of instrumental rationality, which demands global coherence amongst all (...)
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  40. added 2014-05-12
    The Money Pump Is Necessarily Diachronic.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2014 - Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation Berlin/Philosophy.
    In “The Irrelevance of the Diachronic Money-Pump Argument for Acyclicity,” The Journal of Philosophy CX, 8 (August 2013), 460-464, Johan E. Gustafsson contends that if Davidson, McKinsey and Suppes’ diachronic money-pump argument in their "Outlines of a Formal Theory of Value, I," Philosophy of Science 22 (1955), 140-160 is valid, so is the synchronic argument Gustafsson himself offers. He concludes that the latter renders irrelevant diachronic choice considerations in general, and the two best-known diachronic solutions to the money pump problem (...)
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  41. 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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  42. added 2014-03-24
    The Possibility of Parity.Ruth Chang - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):659-688.
    This paper argues for the existence of a fourth positive generic value relation that can hold between two items beyond ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’: namely ‘on a par’.
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  43. added 2014-03-23
    Does Optimization Imply Rationality?Philippe Mongin - 2000 - Synthese 124 (1-2):73 - 111.
    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 preference (...)
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  44. added 2013-12-08
    Deliberation, Single-Peakedness, and the Possibility of Meaningful Democracy: Evidence From Deliberative Polls.Christian List, Robert C. Luskin, James S. Fishkin & Iain McLean - 2013 - Journal of Politics 75 (1):80–95.
    Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...)
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  45. added 2013-12-07
    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. 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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  47. added 2013-12-07
    A Model of Non-Informational Preference Change.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2011 - Journal of Theoretical Politics 23 (2):145-164.
    According to standard rational choice theory, as commonly used in political science and economics, an agent's fundamental preferences are exogenously fixed, and any preference change over decision options is due to Bayesian information learning. Although elegant and parsimonious, such a model fails to account for preference change driven by experiences or psychological changes distinct from information learning. We develop a model of non-informational preference change. Alternatives are modelled as points in some multidimensional space, only some of whose dimensions play a (...)
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  48. 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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  49. added 2012-10-24
    We Are Optimizers: Re-Opening the Case for Rational Genuine Satisficing.Gary Goh - manuscript
    This paper critically reviews the arguments supporting rational genuine satisficing. The deconstructive effort unearths inherent problems with the position in both static and dynamic contexts. Many of these arguments build on Herbert Simon’s canonical arguments surrounding incommensurability and demandingness problems. Optimizing is re-constructed using the principles of instrumental satisficing to answer these charges. The resulting conception is both obviously undemanding and a recognizable response to focused decision making.
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  50. added 2012-06-08
    Decision Theory.Lara Buchak - 2016 - 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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