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  1. added 2019-01-09
    Face Death with Indifference.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    Causal decision theorists say to pursue acts which you expect to improve things, and avoid acts which you expect to make matters worse. In some choices, no matter how you act, you will expect, after acting, that an alternative act would have made things better. For instance: you must either go to Aleppo or Damascus. Whichever city you end up choosing, you will expect Death to have correctly predicted your choice, and to await in that city. In cases like these, (...)
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  2. added 2018-08-06
    Le libéralisme, l’utilitarisme et l’économie politique classique dans l’interprétation d’Élie Halévy.Philippe Mongin - 1990 - la Revue du M.A.U.S.S 10:135-169.
    Élie HALÉVY (1870-1937), philosophe et historien des idées, fut professeur à l'École libre des sciences politiques, l'ancêtre de l'actuel Sciences Po. Comme son autre grand ouvrage, l'Histoire du peuple anglais au XIXe siècle, paru en six tomes de 1913 à 1932, les trois tomes de La formation du radicalisme philosophique, parus en 1901 pour les deux premiers et en 1904 pour le troisième, reflètent pour partie ses enseignements de l'Ecole libre consacrés à l'histoire britannique. Le premier tome, La jeunesse de (...)
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  3. added 2018-06-06
    Vorlesungsskript: Grundlagen des Entscheidens I.Eckhart Arnold - manuscript
    This is a series of lectures on formal decision theory held at the University of Bayreuth during the summer terms 2008 and 2009. It largely follows the book from Michael D. Resnik: Choices. An Introduction to Decision Theory, 5th ed. Minneapolis London 2000 and covers the topics: -/- Decisions under ignorance and risk Probability calculus (Kolmogoroff Axioms, Bayes' Theorem) Philosophical interpretations of probability (R. v. Mises, Ramsey-De Finetti) Neuman-Morgenstern Utility Theory Introductory Game Theory Social Choice Theory (Sen's Paradox of Liberalism, (...)
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  4. added 2018-02-26
    Rationality and Future Discounting.Arif Ahmed - 2018 - Topoi:1-12.
    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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  5. added 2018-02-17
    Representation of Strongly Independent Preorders by Sets of Scalar-Valued Functions.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Teruji Thomas - 2017 - MPRA Paper No. 79284.
    We provide conditions under which an incomplete strongly independent preorder on a convex set X can be represented by a set of mixture preserving real-valued functions. We allow X to be infi nite dimensional. The main continuity condition we focus on is mixture continuity. This is sufficient for such a representation provided X has countable dimension or satisfi es a condition that we call Polarization.
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  6. added 2018-01-14
    Symmetry in Cognition, and its Reflection in Society.Miro Brada - 2016 - In Ioannis Vandoulakis (ed.), Symmetry: Art and Science. Adeilaide: International Symmetry Society. pp. 34-37.
    Cognitive tests show that identity and symmetry reflect intellect. 'Guess of other guess' creates various symmetries, while only one is right: 'absolute symmetry', which can be outvoted by the majority. Prejudices result from differences between ME (my identity) and others. Unbiased judgement is symmetrical, always in the middle: neither in favor, nor against ME. Intelligence reduces prejudices, but the lack of opportunities can counterbalance it. That's why type of bias differs in various groups: people from war zones, people in therapy, (...)
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  7. added 2017-11-28
    Transformative Experience and the Knowledge Norms for Action: Moss on Paul’s Challenge to Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. 2015, Harman (...)
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  8. added 2017-11-18
    Social Preference Under Twofold Uncertainty.Philippe Mongin & Marcus Pivato - manuscript
    We investigate the conflict between the ex ante and ex post criteria of social welfare in a new framework of individual and social decisions, which distinguishes between two sources of uncertainty, here interpreted as an objective and a subjective source respectively. This framework makes it possible to endow the individuals and society not only with ex ante and ex post preferences, as is usually done, but also with interim preferences of two kinds, and correspondingly, to introduce interim forms of the (...)
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  9. added 2017-10-11
    Duhemian Themes in Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 2009 - In Anastasios Brenner and Jean Gayon (ed.), French Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 303-357.
    This monographic chapter explains how expected utility (EU) theory arose in von Neumann and Morgenstern, how it was called into question by Allais and others, and how it gave way to non-EU theories, at least among the specialized quarters of decion theory. I organize the narrative around the idea that the successive theoretical moves amounted to resolving Duhem-Quine underdetermination problems, so they can be assessed in terms of the philosophical recommendations made to overcome these problems. I actually follow Duhem's recommendation, (...)
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  10. added 2017-10-11
    Utility Theory and Ethics.Philippe Mongin & Claude D'Aspremont - 1998 - In Handbook of Utility Theory, 1. Kluwer: pp. 371-481.
    This book-length chapter draws technical and philosophical connections between utility theory and social ethics. After the introductory section 1, section 2 proposes some philosophical and historical clarifications on the utility concept.; this includes a discussion of welfare and welfarism. Section 3 is brief summary of technical aspects of utility theory. Section 4 introduces the aggregative setting of social choice theory when interpersonal comparisons of utility are allowed, and using this setting, contrasts the derivation of utilitarianism with that of the Rawlsian (...)
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  11. added 2017-10-06
    A Welfarist Version of Harsanyi's Theorem.Claude D'Aspremont & Philippe Mongin - 2008 - In M. Salles and J. Weymark M. Fleurbaey (ed.), Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. Ch. 11.
    This is a chapter of a collective volume of Rawls's and Harsanyi's theories of distributive justice. It focuses on Harsanyi's important Social Aggregation Theorem and technically reconstructs it as a theorem in welfarist social choice.
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  12. added 2017-10-06
    Halévy's Bentham is Bentham.Philippe Mongin & Nathalie Sigot - 1999 - Philosophy 74 (2):271-281.
    A reply to Fransisco Vergara's attack on Halévy's interpretation of Bentham in Philosophy, January, 1998. Vergara had argued that Halévy was mistaken in interpreting Bentham's principle of utility as a psychological law as well as the ethical greatest happiness principle. Mongin and Sigot show that Halévy correctly interpreted Bentham's texts and that the psychological law is necessary to Bentham's legal theory, economics and politics; they also argue that it is incorrect to confuse the principle of utility with a theory of (...)
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  13. 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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  14. added 2017-08-21
    Continuity and Completeness of Strongly Independent Preorders.David McCarthy & Kalle Mikkola - 2018 - Mathematical Social Sciences 93:141-145.
    A strongly independent preorder on a possibly in finite dimensional convex set that satisfi es two of the following conditions must satisfy the third: (i) the Archimedean continuity condition; (ii) mixture continuity; and (iii) comparability under the preorder is an equivalence relation. In addition, if the preorder is nontrivial (has nonempty asymmetric part) and satisfi es two of the following conditions, it must satisfy the third: (i') a modest strengthening of the Archimedean condition; (ii') mixture continuity; and (iii') completeness. Applications (...)
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  15. added 2017-05-16
    Expected Comparative Utility Theory: A New Theory of Rational Choice.David Robert - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (1):19-37.
    This paper proposes a new theory of rational choice, Expected Comparative Utility (ECU) Theory. It is first argued that for any decision option, a, and any state of the world, G, the measure of the choiceworthiness of a in G is the comparative utility of a in G – that is, the difference in utility, in G, between a and whichever alternative to a carries the greatest utility in G. On the basis of this principle, it is then argued, roughly (...)
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  16. added 2016-08-24
    Book Review Truth by Alexis G Burgess and John P Burgess. [REVIEW]Swami Narasimhananda - 2015 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 120 (3):295-6.
    Professors of philosophy, the authors have done a succinct and critical analysis of some theories of truth: deflationism, indeterminacy, insolubility, realism, and antirealism.
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  17. added 2016-06-30
    Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 1998 - In John Davis, Wade Hands & Uskali Maki (eds.), Handbook of Economic Methodology. Edward Elgar. pp. 342-350.
    The paper summarizes expected utility theory, both in its original von Neumann-Morgenstern version and its later developments, and discusses the normative claims to rationality made by this theory.
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  18. added 2016-02-26
    Choice-Based Cardinal Utility. A Tribute to Patrick Suppes.Philippe Mongin - 2016 - Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (3):268-288.
    We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and dis- tinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions (...)
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  19. added 2016-01-13
    Frank Plumpton Ramsey.Brad Armendt - 2005 - In Sahotra Sarkar & Jessica Pfeifer (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 671-681.
    On the work of Frank Ramsey, emphasizing topics most relevant to philosophy of science.
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  20. 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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  21. added 2015-09-12
    On Risk and Rationality.Brad Armendt - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S6):1-9.
    It is widely held that the influence of risk on rational decisions is not entirely explained by the shape of an agent’s utility curve. Buchak (Erkenntnis, 2013, Risk and rationality, Oxford University Press, Oxford, in press) presents an axiomatic decision theory, risk-weighted expected utility theory (REU), in which decision weights are the agent’s subjective probabilities modified by his risk-function r. REU is briefly described, and the global applicability of r is discussed. Rabin’s (Econometrica 68:1281–1292, 2000) calibration theorem strongly suggests that (...)
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  22. added 2015-09-12
    Dutch Books, Additivity, and Utility Theory.Brad Armendt - 1993 - Philosophical Topics 21 (1):1-20.
    One guide to an argument's significance is the number and variety of refutations it attracts. By this measure, the Dutch book argument has considerable importance.2 Of course this measure alone is not a sure guide to locating arguments deserving of our attention—if a decisive refutation has really been given, we are better off pursuing other topics. But the presence of many and varied counterarguments at least suggests that either the refutations are controversial, or that their target admits of more than (...)
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  23. 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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  24. added 2015-08-25
    Transformative Experience and Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):766-774.
    This paper is part of a book symposium for L. A. Paul (2014) Transformative Experience (OUP).
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  25. added 2015-06-05
    Ranking Multidimensional Alternatives and Uncertain Prospects.Philippe Mongin - 2015 - Journal of Economic Theory 157:146-171.
    We introduce a ranking of multidimensional alternatives, including uncertain prospects as a particular case, when these objects can be given a matrix form. This ranking is separable in terms of rows and columns, and continuous and monotonic in the basic quantities. Owing to the theory of additive separability developed here, we derive very precise numerical representations over a large class of domains (i.e., typically notof the Cartesian product form). We apply these representationsto (1)streams of commodity baskets through time, (2)uncertain social (...)
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  26. added 2015-06-04
    Philosophers Should Be Interested in ‘Common Currency’ Claims in the Cognitive and Behavioural Sciences.David Spurrett - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):211-221.
    A recurring claim in a number of behavioural, cognitive and neuro-scientific literatures is that there is, or must be, a unidimensional ‘common currency’ in which the values of different available options are represented. There is striking variety in the quantities or properties that have been proposed as determinants of the ordering in motivational strength. Among those seriously suggested are pain and pleasure, biological fitness, reward and reinforcement, and utility among economists, who have regimented the notion of utility in a variety (...)
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  27. added 2015-04-16
    Scoring Imprecise Credences: A Mildly Immodest Proposal.Conor Mayo-Wilson & Gregory Wheeler - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):55-78.
    Jim Joyce argues for two amendments to probabilism. The first is the doctrine that credences are rational, or not, in virtue of their accuracy or “closeness to the truth” (1998). The second is a shift from a numerically precise model of belief to an imprecise model represented by a set of probability functions (2010). We argue that both amendments cannot be satisfied simultaneously. To do so, we employ a (slightly-generalized) impossibility theorem of Seidenfeld, Schervish, and Kadane (2012), who show that (...)
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  28. added 2015-01-21
    Causal Decision Theory: A Counterexample.A. 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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  29. added 2014-08-17
    Prioritarianism and the Measure of Utility.Michael Otsuka - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (1):1-22.
    I argue that prioritarianism cannot be assessed in abstraction from an account of the measure of utility. Rather, the soundness of this view crucially depends on what counts as a greater, lesser, or equal increase in a person’s utility. In particular, prioritarianism cannot accommodate a normatively compelling measure of utility that is captured by the axioms of John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern’s expected utility theory. Nor can it accommodate a plausible and elegant generalization of this theory that has been (...)
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  30. added 2014-03-19
    Are Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility Indeterminate?Christian List - 2003 - Erkenntnis 58 (2):229 - 260.
    On the orthodox view in economics, interpersonal comparisons of utility are not empirically meaningful, and "hence" impossible. To reassess this view, this paper draws on the parallels between the problem of interpersonal comparisons of utility and the problem of translation of linguistic meaning, as explored by Quine. I discuss several cases of what the empirical evidence for interpersonal comparisonsof utility might be and show that, even on the strongest of these, interpersonal comparisons are empirically underdetermined and, if we also deny (...)
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  31. added 2013-11-28
    Maximization of Originality.Miro Brada - manuscript
    The classic utility concept in economics, can't explain destructive or seemingly irrational behaviour. I introduce the principle of maximization of originality, which unites any kind of motivation. Maximization of richness / leisure according to budget (=classic utility), also maximizes originality,as the richer I am the fewer people are equally rich (the richest person is only one). Motivation to stand out can be however achieved also by doing an extreme sport, striptease, having big tattoo, etc. This enables to relate any human (...)
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  32. 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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  33. added 2013-05-03
    Evaluating Time-Continuous Action Alternatives From the Perspective of Negative Utilitarianism: A Layered Approach.Erich Rast - 2013 - Proceedings of the GV-Conf 2013.
    A layered approach to the evaluation of action alternatives with continuous time for decision making under the moral doctrine of Negative Utilitarianism is presented and briefly discussed from a philosophical perspective.
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  34. 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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  35. added 2012-08-21
    Arguments Against the Free Use of Beasts as Sexual Objects.John D. Baldari - manuscript
    In this paper, I intend to deny the morality and instrumentality of the behavior known as bestiality, or the use of non-human animals for sexual gratification by human beings. While to most modern peoples, this hardly even seems like it should be in question, it should be the nature of the human mind to occasionally question long-standing traditional moray in the hopes of finding solutions to problems and the disbanding of superstition. It has been proposed that the moral question, and (...)
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  36. added 2012-06-08
    Decision Theory.Lara Buchak - forthcoming - In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan Hajek (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Decision theory has at its core a set of mathematical theorems that connect rational preferences to functions with certain structural properties. The components of these theorems, as well as their bearing on questions surrounding rationality, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Philosophy’s current interest in decision theory represents a convergence of two very different lines of thought, one concerned with the question of how one ought to act, and the other concerned with the question of what action consists (...)
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  37. added 2012-05-14
    On Knaves and Rules. (An Approach to the 'Sensible Knave' Problem From a Tempered Rule Utilitarianism).José L. Tasset - 2011 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 52:117-140.
    In the attempt of defending an interpretation of David Hume's moral and political philosophy connected to classical utilitarianism, intervenes in a key way the so called problem of the " Sensitive Knave " raised by this author at the end of his more utilitarian work, the Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. According to the classic interpretation of this fragment, the utilitarian rationality in politics would clash with morality turning useless the latter. Therefore, in the political area the defense of (...)
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  38. added 2012-03-06
    Must Rational Intentions Maximize Utility?Ralph Wedgwood - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):73-92.
    Suppose that it is rational to choose or intend a course of action if and only if the course of action maximizes some sort of expectation of some sort of value. What sort of value should this definition appeal to? According to an influential neo-Humean view, the answer is “Utility”, where utility is defined as a measure of subjective preference. According to a rival neo-Aristotelian view, the answer is “Choiceworthiness”, where choiceworthiness is an irreducibly normative notion of a course of (...)
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  39. added 2011-10-17
    Keynes, Uncertainty and Interest Rates.Brian Weatherson - 2002 - Cambridge Journal of Economics 26 (1):47-62.
    Uncertainty plays an important role in The General Theory, particularly in the theory of interest rates. Keynes did not provide a theory of uncertainty, but he did make some enlightening remarks about the direction he thought such a theory should take. I argue that some modern innovations in the theory of probability allow us to build a theory which captures these Keynesian insights. If this is the right theory, however, uncertainty cannot carry its weight in Keynes’s arguments. This does not (...)
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  40. added 2011-02-17
    Persons and the Satisfaction of Preferences: Problems in the Rational Kinematics of Values.Duncan Macintosh - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):163-180.
    If one can get the targets of one's current wants only by acquiring new wants (as in the Prisoner's Dilemma), is it rational to do so? Arguably not. For this could justify adopting unsatisfiable wants, violating the rational duty to maximize one's utility. Further, why cause a want's target if one will not then want it? And people "are" their wants. So if these change, people will not survive to enjoy their wants' targets. I reply that one rationally need not (...)
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  41. added 2009-12-17
    Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being, the Evaluative Attitudes, and Type Correspondence Between Mind and Brain.JP Sevilla - manuscript
    Interpersonal comparisons of well-being (ICWs) confront the longstanding unsolved epistemic problem of other minds (EPOM): the problem of how to achieve objective knowledge of people's subjective mental states. The intractability of the EPOM may lead to the hope that Rational Choice Theory (RCT) can show that information about how people would choose over goods and gambles is sufficient--and information about subjective mental states therefore unnecessary--for interpersonal comparisons of levels and changes in well-being, thereby bypassing the EPOM. I argue that this (...)
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  42. added 2009-06-02
    What Are Millian Qualitative Superiorities?Jonathan Riley - 2008 - Prolegomena 7 (1):61-79.
    In an article published in Prolegomena 2006, Christoph Schmidt-Petri has defended his interpretation and attacked mine of Mill’s idea that higher kinds of pleasure are superior in quality to lower kinds, regardless of quantity. Millian qualitative superiorities as I understand them are infinite superiorities. In this paper, I clarify my interpretation and show how Schmidt-Petri has misrepresented it and ignored the obvious textual support for it. As a result, he fails to understand how genuine Millian qualitative superiorities determine the novel (...)
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