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  1. Morality Under Risk.Chad Lee-Stronach - 2019 - Dissertation,
    Many argue that absolutist moral theories -- those that prohibit particular kinds of actions or trade-offs under all circumstances -- cannot adequately account for the permissibility of risky actions. In this dissertation, I defend various versions of absolutism against this critique, using overlooked resources from formal decision theory. Against the prevailing view, I argue that almost all absolutist moral theories can give systematic and plausible verdicts about what to do in risky cases. In doing so, I show that critics have (...)
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  • Representation Theorems and Radical Interpretation.Edward J. R. Elliott - manuscript
    This paper begins with a puzzle regarding Lewis' theory of radical interpretation. On the one hand, Lewis convincingly argued that the facts about an agent's sensory evidence and choices will always underdetermine the facts about her beliefs and desires. On the other hand, we have several representation theorems—such as those of (Ramsey 1931) and (Savage 1954)—that are widely taken to show that if an agent's choices satisfy certain constraints, then those choices can suffice to determine her beliefs and desires. In (...)
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  • Comparativism and the Measurement of Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-28.
    According to comparativism, degrees of belief are reducible to a system of purely ordinal comparisons of relative confidence. (For example, being more confident that P than that Q, or being equally confident that P and that Q.) In this paper, I raise several general challenges for comparativism, relating to (i) its capacity to illuminate apparently meaningful claims regarding intervals and ratios of strengths of belief, (ii) its capacity to draw enough intuitively meaningful and theoretically relevant distinctions between doxastic states, and (...)
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  • What is 'Real' in Interpersonal Comparisons of Confidence.Edward J. R. Elliott - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    According to comparativism, comparative confidence is more fundamental than absolute confidence. In a pair of recent papers, Stefánsson has argued that comparativism is capable of explaining interpersonal confidence comparisons. In this paper, I will argue that Stefansson’s proposed explanation is inadequate; that we have good reasons to think that comparativism cannot handle interpersonal comparisons; and that the best explanation of interpersonal comparisons requires thinking about confidence in a fundamentally different way than that which comparativists propose—specifically, we should think of confidence (...)
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  • Betting Against the Zen Monk: On Preferences and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3733-3758.
    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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  • Normative Decision Theory.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):755-772.
    A review of some major topics of debate in normative decision theory from circa 2007 to 2019. Topics discussed include the ongoing debate between causal and evidential decision theory, decision instability, risk-weighted expected utility theory, decision-making with incomplete preferences, and decision-making with imprecise credences.
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