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Money-Pump Arguments

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2022)

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  1. Expected comparative utility theory: A new theory of instrumental rationality.David Robert - manuscript
    This paper aims to address the question of how one ought to choose when one is uncertain about what outcomes will result from one’s choices, but when one can nevertheless assign probabilities to the different possible outcomes. These choices are commonly referred to as choices (or decisions) under risk. I assume in this paper that one ought to make instrumentally rational choices—more precisely, one ought to adopt suitable means to one’s morally permissible ends. Expected utility (EU) theory is generally accepted (...)
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  • Getting machines to do your dirty work.Tomi Francis & Todd Karhu - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-15.
    Autonomous systems are machines that can alter their behavior without direct human oversight or control. How ought we to program them to behave? A plausible starting point is given by the Reduction to Acts Thesis, according to which we ought to program autonomous systems to do whatever a human agent ought to do in the same circumstances. Although the Reduction to Acts Thesis is initially appealing, we argue that it is false: it is sometimes permissible to program a machine to (...)
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  • Optimization and Beyond.Akshath Jitendranath - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper will be concerned with hard choices---that is, choice situations where an agent cannot make a rationally justified choice. Specifically, this paper asks: if an agent cannot optimize in a given situation, are they facing a hard choice? A pair of claims are defended in light of this question. First, situations where an agent cannot optimize because of incompleteness of the binary preference or value relation constitute a hard choice. Second, situations where agents cannot optimize because the binary preference (...)
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  • The Shutdown Problem: Three Theorems.Elliott Thornley - manuscript
    I explain the shutdown problem: the problem of designing artificial agents that (1) shut down when a shutdown button is pressed, (2) don’t try to prevent or cause the pressing of the shutdown button, and (3) otherwise pursue goals competently. I prove three theorems that make the difficulty precise. These theorems show that agents satisfying some innocuous-seeming conditions will often try to prevent or cause the pressing of the shutdown button, even in cases where it’s costly to do so. And (...)
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  • 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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  • The weight of suffering.Andreas Mogensen - manuscript
    How should we weigh suffering against happiness? This paper highlights the existence of an argument from intuitively plausible axiological principles to the striking conclusion that in comparing different populations, there exists some depth of suffering that cannot be compensated for by any measure of well-being. In addition to a number of structural principles, the argument relies on two key premises. The first is the contrary of the so-called Reverse Repugnant Conclusion. The second is a principle according to which the addition (...)
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  • Structural Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter & Alex Worsnip - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This entry is composed of three sections. In §1, we survey debates about what structural rationality is, including the emergence of the concept in the contemporary literature, its key characteristics, its relationship to substantive rationality, its paradigm instances, and the questions of whether these instances are unified and, if so, how. In §2, we turn to the debate about structural requirements of rationality – including controversies about whether they are “wide-scope” or “narrow-scope”, synchronic or diachronic, and whether they govern processes (...)
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  • On Choosing how to Choose.Richard Pettigrew - manuscript
    A decision theory is self-recommending if, when you ask it which decision theory you should use, it considers itself to be among the permissible options. I show that many alternatives to expected utility theory are not self-recommending, and I argue that this tells against them.
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