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  1. 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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  • 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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  • Is risk aversion irrational? Examining the “fallacy” of large numbers.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4425-4437.
    A moderately risk averse person may turn down a 50/50 gamble that either results in her winning $200 or losing $100. Such behaviour seems rational if, for instance, the pain of losing $100 is felt more strongly than the joy of winning $200. The aim of this paper is to examine an influential argument that some have interpreted as showing that such moderate risk aversion is irrational. After presenting an axiomatic argument that I take to be the strongest case for (...)
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  • The Psychology of Human Risk Preferences and Vulnerability to Scare-Mongers: Experimental Economic Tools for Hypothesis Formulation and Testing.W. Harrison Glenn & Ross Don - 2016 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (5):383-414.
    The Internet and social media have opened niches for political exploitation of human dispositions to hyper-alarmed states that amplify perceived threats relative to their objective probabilities of occurrence. Researchers should aim to observe the dynamic “ramping up” of security threat mechanisms under controlled experimental conditions. Such research necessarily begins from a clear model of standard baseline states, and should involve adding treatments to established experimental protocols developed by experimental economists. We review these protocols, which allow for joint estimation of risk (...)
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  • From Allostatic Agents to Counterfactual Cognisers: Active Inference, Biological Regulation, and the Origins of Cognition.Andrew W. Corcoran, Giovanni Pezzulo & Jakob Hohwy - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (3):1-45.
    What is the function of cognition? On one influential account, cognition evolved to co-ordinate behaviour with environmental change or complexity. Liberal interpretations of this view ascribe cognition to an extraordinarily broad set of biological systems—even bacteria, which modulate their activity in response to salient external cues, would seem to qualify as cognitive agents. However, equating cognition with adaptive flexibility per se glosses over important distinctions in the way biological organisms deal with environmental complexity. Drawing on contemporary advances in theoretical biology (...)
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  • Naming is Framing: The Public Understanding of Scientific Names.Reginald Boersma - 2018 - Dissertation, Wageningen University
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  • Transitivity, the Sorites Paradox, and Similarity-Based Decision-Making.Alex Voorhoeve & Ken Binmore - 2006 - Erkenntnis 64 (1):101-114.
    A persistent argument against the transitivity assumption of rational choice theory postulates a repeatable action that generates a significant benefit at the expense of a negligible cost. No matter how many times the action has been taken, it therefore seems reasonable for a decision-maker to take the action one more time. However, matters are so fixed that the costs of taking the action some large number of times outweigh the benefits. In taking the action some large number of times on (...)
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  • Comparativism and the Measurement of Partial Belief.Edward J. R. Elliott - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    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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  • Perceived (In)Justice of Public Land Acquisition.S. M. Holtslag-Broekhof, R. van Marwijk, R. Beunen & J. S. C. Wiskerke - 2016 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (2):167-184.
    Many studies have addressed the justice of public land acquisition, but few studies have addressed the question of what landowners perceive as just. Individual perceptions drive an important part of the social and scientific debates on legitimate and just land acquisition. This article addresses this gap by studying landowners’ and land purchasers’ perceptions of just land acquisition. We did this by uncovering the prevailing discourse on just land acquisition and studying the values that shaped people’s perceptions of just land acquisition. (...)
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  • Moore on the Right, the Good, and Uncertainty.Michael Smith - 2006 - In Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.), Metaethics After Moore. Oxford University Press. pp. 2006--133.
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  • “The Road Not Taken”: A Study of Moral Intensity, Whistleblowing, and Regret.Amy Fredin, Roopa Venkatesh, Jennifer Riley & Susan W. Eldridge - 2019 - Ethics and Behavior 29 (4):320-340.
    Despite attempts to encourage whistleblowing, lingering reluctance to report questionable acts remains frustratingly apparent. Our objective is to examine the regret a professional anticipates when evaluating the action of reporting or not reporting, and whether the framing of the action influences regret. Responses from 263 professionals indicate that regret depends on the moral intensity of the situation and how the action is framed. Regret for whistleblowing is not comparable to regret for not remaining silent, despite the fact that these two (...)
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  • Savage's Response to Allais as Broomean Reasoning.Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras & Robert Sugden - manuscript
    Leonard Savage famously contravened his own theory when first confronting the Allais Paradox, but then convinced himself that he had made an error. We examine the formal structure of Savage’s ‘error-correcting’ reasoning in the light of (i) behavioural economists’ claims to identify the latent preferences of individuals who violate conventional rationality requirements and (ii) John Broome’s critique of arguments which presuppose that rationality requirements can be achieved through reasoning. We argue that Savage’s reasoning is not vulnerable to Broome’s critique, but (...)
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  • How Prone Are Bulgarians to Heuristics and Biases? Implications for Studying Rationality Across Cultures.Nikolay R. Rachev & Miglena Petkova - 2019 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 19 (3-4):322-342.
    Dual-processes theories of cognition implicitly assume universality of the human mind. However, research has shown that large-scale differences exist in thinking styles across cultures. Thereby, the universality of the effects found in Western samples remains an open empirical question. Here, we explored whether effects predicted by prospect theory, such as the framing effect, would be observed in a sample of 312 Bulgarian students. Overall, the size of the framing effect was smaller than in the original studies. Most notably, we failed (...)
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  • Evaluative Polarity Words in Risky Choice Framing.Annika Wallin, Carita Paradis & Katsikopoulos Konstantinos - 2016 - Journal of Pragmatics 106:20-38.
    This article is concerned with how we make decisions based on how problems are presented to us and the effect that the framing of the problem might have on our choices. Current philosophical and psychological accounts of the framing effect in experiments such as the Asian Disease Problem concern reference points and domains. We question the importance of reference points and domains. Instead, we adopt a linguistic perspective focussing on the role of the evaluative polarity evoked by the words - (...)
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  • Public Attitudes Toward Cognitive Enhancement.Nicholas S. Fitz, Roland Nadler, Praveena Manogaran, Eugene W. J. Chong & Peter B. Reiner - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):173-188.
    Vigorous debate over the moral propriety of cognitive enhancement exists, but the views of the public have been largely absent from the discussion. To address this gap in our knowledge, four experiments were carried out with contrastive vignettes in order to obtain quantitative data on public attitudes towards cognitive enhancement. The data collected suggest that the public is sensitive to and capable of understanding the four cardinal concerns identified by neuroethicists, and tend to cautiously accept cognitive enhancement even as they (...)
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  • Rationality, Decisions and Large Worlds.Mareile Drechsler - 2012 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    Taking Savage's subjective expected utility theory as a starting point, this thesis distinguishes three types of uncertainty which are incompatible with Savage's theory for small worlds: ambiguity, option uncertainty and state space uncertainty. Under ambiguity agents cannot form a unique and additive probability function over the state space. Option uncertainty exists when agents cannot assign unique consequences to every state. Finally, state space uncertainty arises when the state space the agent constructs is not exhaustive, such that unforeseen contingencies can occur. (...)
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  • An Opportunity Cost Model of Subjective Effort and Task Performance.Robert Kurzban, Angela Duckworth, Joseph W. Kable & Justus Myers - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (6):661-679.
    Why does performing certain tasks cause the aversive experience of mental effort and concomitant deterioration in task performance? One explanation posits a physical resource that is depleted over time. We propose an alternative explanation that centers on mental representations of the costs and benefits associated with task performance. Specifically, certain computational mechanisms, especially those associated with executive function, can be deployed for only a limited number of simultaneous tasks at any given moment. Consequently, the deployment of these computational mechanisms carries (...)
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  • Loss-Chasing, Alexithymia, and Impulsivity in a Gambling Task: Alexithymia as a Precursor to Loss-Chasing Behavior When Gambling.Peter A. Bibby - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Individual Heuristics and the Dynamics of Cooperation in Large Groups.David M. Messick & Wim B. G. Liebrand - 1995 - Psychological Review 102 (1):131-145.
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  • Surrogate Utility Estimation by Long-Term Partners and Unfamiliar Dyads.Richard J. Tunney & Fenja V. Ziegler - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Modelling Imitation with Sequential Games.Andrew M. Colman - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):686-687.
    A significant increase in the probability of an action resulting from observing that action performed by another agent cannot, on its own, provide persuasive evidence of imitation. Simple models of social influence based on two-person sequential games suggest that both imitation and pseudo-imitation can be explained by a process more fundamental than priming, namely, subjective utility maximization.
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  • Subjective Moral Biases & Fallacies: Developing Scientifically & Practically Adequate Moral Analogues of Cognitive Heuristics & Biases.Mark H. Herman - 2019 - Dissertation, Bowling Green State University
    In this dissertation, I construct scientifically and practically adequate moral analogs of cognitive heuristics and biases. Cognitive heuristics are reasoning “shortcuts” that are efficient but flawed. Such flaws yield systematic judgment errors—i.e., cognitive biases. For example, the availability heuristic infers an event’s probability by seeing how easy it is to recall similar events. Since dramatic events, such as airplane crashes, are disproportionately easy to recall, this heuristic explains systematic overestimations of their probability (availability bias). The research program on cognitive heuristics (...)
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  • A Triple Test for Behavioral Economics Models and Public Health Policy.Ryota Nakamura, Marc Suhrcke & Daniel John Zizzo - 2017 - Theory and Decision 83 (4):513-533.
    We propose a triple test to evaluate the usefulness of behavioral economics models for public health policy. Test 1 is whether the model provides reasonably new insights. Test 2 is on whether these have been properly applied to policy settings. Test 3 is whether they are corroborated by evidence. We exemplify by considering the cases of social interactions models, self-control models and, in relation to health message framing, prospect theory. Out of these sets of models, only a correctly applied prospect (...)
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  • Losses Motivate Cognitive Effort More Than Gains in Effort-Based Decision Making and Performance.Stijn A. A. Massar, Zhenghao Pu, Christina Chen & Michael W. L. Chee - 2020 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14.
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  • Special Number or a Mere Numerical Array? Effect of Repdigits on Judgments and Choices.Hidehito Honda, Sota Matsunaga & Kazuhiro Ueda - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Individual Differences in Framing and Conjunction Effects.Keith E. Stanovich & Richard F. West - 1998 - Thinking and Reasoning 4 (4):289-317.
    Individual differences on a variety of framing and conjunction problems were examined in light of Slovic and Tversky's (1974) understanding/acceptance principle-that more reflective and skilled reasoners are more likely to affirm the axioms that define normative reasoning and to endorse the task construals of informed experts. The predictions derived from the principle were confirmed for the much discussed framing effect in the Disease Problem and for the conjunction fallacy on the Linda Problem. Subjects of higher cognitive ability were disproportionately likely (...)
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  • Disclosure and Rationality: Comparative Risk Information and Decision-Making About Prevention.Peter H. Schwartz - 2009 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):199-213.
    With the growing focus on prevention in medicine, studies of how to describe risk have become increasing important. Recently, some researchers have argued against giving patients “comparative risk information,” such as data about whether their baseline risk of developing a particular disease is above or below average. The concern is that giving patients this information will interfere with their consideration of more relevant data, such as the specific chance of getting the disease (the “personal risk”), the risk reduction the treatment (...)
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  • Weighing Risk and Uncertainty.Amos Tversky & Craig R. Fox - 1995 - Psychological Review 102 (2):269-283.
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  • The Dissolution of Ethical Decision-Making in Organizations: A Comprehensive Review and Model. [REVIEW]Ralph W. Jackson, Charles M. Wood & James J. Zboja - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 116 (2):233-250.
    The purpose of this research is to present the major factors that lead to ethical dissolution in an organization. Specifically, drawing from a wide spectrum of sources, this study explores the impact of organizational, individual, and contextual factors that converge to contribute to ethical dissolution. Acknowledging that ethical decisions are, in the final analysis, made by individuals, this study presents a model of ethical dissolution that gives insight into how a variety of elements coalesce to draw individuals into decisions that (...)
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  • Compromise Effect in Food Consumer Choices in China: An Analysis on Pork Products.Linhai Wu, Xiaoru Gong, Xiujuan Chen & Wuyang Hu - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Transformative Experience and the Knowledge Norms for Action: Moss on Paul’s Challenge to Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. New York, NY, USA:
    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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  • Moral Intuitionism, Experiments and Skeptical Arguments.Mark van Roojen - forthcoming - In Anthony Booth & Darrell Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press.
    Over the last decade there have been various attempts to use empirical data about people’s dispositions to choose to undermine various moral positions by arguing that our judgements about what to do are unreliable. Usually they are directed at non-consequentialists by consequentialists, but they have also been directed at all moral theories by skeptics about morality. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has been one of the leading proponents of such general skepticism. He has argued that empirical results particularly undermine intuitionist moral epistemology. This (...)
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  • Commentary/Elqayam & Evans: Subtracting “Ought” From “Is”.Natalie Gold, Andrew M. Colman & Briony D. Pulford - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5).
    Normative theories can be useful in developing descriptive theories, as when normative subjective expected utility theory is used to develop descriptive rational choice theory and behavioral game theory. “Ought” questions are also the essence of theories of moral reasoning, a domain of higher mental processing that could not survive without normative considerations.
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  • Counterfactual Desirability.Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):485-533.
    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais Paradox. In this paper we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey's decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be desirability maximising. We (...)
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  • Need, Frames, and Time Constraints in Risky Decision-Making.Adele Diederich, Marc Wyszynski & Stefan Traub - 2020 - Theory and Decision 89 (1):1-37.
    In two experiments, participants had to choose between a sure and a risky option. The sure option was presented either in a gain or a loss frame. Need was defined as a minimum score the participants had to reach. Moreover, choices were made under two different time constraints and with three different levels of induced need to be reached within a fixed number of trials. The two experiments differed with respect to the specific amounts to win and the need levels. (...)
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  • The Sunk Cost 'Fallacy' Is Not a Fallacy.Ryan Doody - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:1153-1190.
    Business and Economic textbooks warn against committing the Sunk Cost Fallacy: you, rationally, shouldn't let unrecoverable costs influence your current decisions. In this paper, I argue that this isn't, in general, correct. Sometimes it's perfectly reasonable to wish to carry on with a project because of the resources you've already sunk into it. The reason? Given that we're social creatures, it's not unreasonable to care about wanting to act in such a way so that a plausible story can be told (...)
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  • Bridging Ecological Rationality, Embodied Emotion, and Neuroeconomics: Insights From the Somatic Marker Hypothesis.Fuming Xu, Peng Xiang & Long Huang - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Plaisir (Entrée académique).Antonin Broi - 2020 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    Quand nous lisons un livre passionnant, quand nous passons une bonne soirée avec des amis ou quand nous dégustons des mets raffinés, nous nous trouvons parfois dans un état de plaisir. La notion de plaisir traverse de nombreux champs de recherche en philosophie. Une question centrale reste sans doute celle de sa nature : qu’est-ce donc que le plaisir ? Pour y répondre, une comparaison avec d'autres entités mentales plus familières se révèle fructueuse, et permet de mettre à jour ses (...)
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  • The Ratio Bias Phenomenon: Fact or Artifact? [REVIEW]Mathieu Lefebvre, Ferdinand M. Vieider & Marie Claire Villeval - 2011 - Theory and Decision 71 (4):615-641.
    The ratio bias—according to which individuals prefer to bet on probabilities expressed as a ratio of large numbers to normatively equivalent or superior probabilities expressed as a ratio of small numbers—has recently gained momentum, with researchers especially in health economics emphasizing the policy importance of the phenomenon. Although the bias has been replicated several times, some doubts remain about its economic significance. Our two experiments show that the bias disappears once order effects are excluded, and once salient and dominant incentives (...)
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  • Buying and Selling Human Eggs: Infertility Providers’ Ethical and Other Concerns Regarding Egg Donor Agencies.Robert Klitzman - 2016 - BMC Medical Ethics 17 (1):71.
    BackgroundEgg donor agencies are increasingly being used as part of IVF in the US, but are essentially unregulated, posing critical ethical and policy questions concerning how providers view and use them, and what the implications might be.MethodsThirty-seven in-depth interviews of approximately 1 h were conducted – with 27 IVF providers and 10 patients.ResultsClinicians vary in their views and interactions concerning egg donor agencies, ranging widely in whether and how often they use agencies. Agencies may offer egg recipients increased choices, but (...)
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  • Moral Anti-Realism.Richard Joyce - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    It might be expected that it would suffice for the entry for “moral anti-realism” to contain only some links to other entries in this encyclopedia. It could contain a link to “moral realism” and stipulate the negation of the view there described. Alternatively, it could have links to the entries “anti-realism” and “morality” and could stipulate the conjunction of the materials contained therein. The fact that neither of these approaches would be adequate—and, more strikingly, that following the two procedures would (...)
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  • A Unified Framework for Addiction: Vulnerabilities in the Decision Process.A. David Redish, Steve Jensen & Adam Johnson - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (4):415-437.
    The understanding of decision-making systems has come together in recent years to form a unified theory of decision-making in the mammalian brain as arising from multiple, interacting systems (a planning system, a habit system, and a situation-recognition system). This unified decision-making system has multiple potential access points through which it can be driven to make maladaptive choices, particularly choices that entail seeking of certain drugs or behaviors. We identify 10 key vulnerabilities in the system: (1) moving away from homeostasis, (2) (...)
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  • A Biologically Plausible Action Selection System for Cognitive Architectures: Implications of Basal Ganglia Anatomy for Learning and Decision‐Making Models.Andrea Stocco - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (2):457-490.
    Several attempts have been made previously to provide a biological grounding for cognitive architectures by relating their components to the computations of specific brain circuits. Often, the architecture's action selection system is identified with the basal ganglia. However, this identification overlooks one of the most important features of the basal ganglia—the existence of a direct and an indirect pathway that compete against each other. This characteristic has important consequences in decision-making tasks, which are brought to light by Parkinson's disease as (...)
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  • Goal-Directed Decision Making as Probabilistic Inference: A Computational Framework and Potential Neural Correlates.Alec Solway & Matthew M. Botvinick - 2012 - Psychological Review 119 (1):120-154.
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  • Metaethics After Moore.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Metaethics, understood as a distinct branch of ethics, is often traced to G. E. Moore's 1903 classic, Principia Ethica. Whereas normative ethics is concerned to answer first order moral questions about what is good and bad, right and wrong, metaethics is concerned to answer second order non-moral questions about the semantics, metaphysics, and epistemology of moral thought and discourse. Moore has continued to exert a powerful influence, and the sixteen essays here represent the most up-to-date work in metaethics after, and (...)
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  • Modality in Brandom's Incompatibility Semantics.Giacomo Turbanti - 2011 - In María Inés Crespo, Dimitris Gakis & Galit Weidman-Sassoon (eds.), Proceedings of the Amsterdam Graduate Conference - Truth, Meaning, and Normativity. ILLC Publications.
    In the fifth of his John Locke Lectures, Robert Brandom takes up the challenge to define a formal semantics for modelling conceptual contents according to his normative analysis of linguistic practices. The project is to exploit the notion of incompatibility in order to directly define a modally robust relation of entailment. Unfortunately, it can be proved that, in the original definition, the modal system represented by Incompatibility Semantics (IS) collapses into propositional calculus. In this paper I show how IS can (...)
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  • Decision Science: From Ramsey to Dual Process Theories.Nils-Eric Sahlin, Annika Wallin & Johannes Persson - 2010 - Synthese 172 (1):129-143.
    The hypothesis that human reasoning and decision-making can be roughly modeled by Expected Utility Theory has been at the core of decision science. Accumulating evidence has led researchers to modify the hypothesis. One of the latest additions to the field is Dual Process theory, which attempts to explain variance between participants and tasks when it comes to deviations from Expected Utility Theory. It is argued that Dual Process theories at this point cannot replace previous theories, since they, among other things, (...)
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  • Why Metaphysicians Do Not Explain.Ingar Brinck, Göran Hermerén, Johannes Persson & Nils-Eric Sahlin - unknown
    The paper discusses the concept of explanation in metaphysics. Different types of explanation are identified and explored. Scientific explanation is compared with metaphysical explanation. The comparison illustrates the difficulties with applying the concept of explanation in metaphysics.
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  • Knowledge in a Social Network.Staffan Angere - unknown
    The purpose of this paper is to present a formal model of social net- works suitable for studying questions in social epistemology. We show how to use this model, in conjunction with a computer program for simulating groups of inquirers, to draw conclusions about the epistemological prop- erties of different social practices. This furnishes us with the beginnings of a systematic research program in social epistemology, from which to approach problems pertaining to epistemic value, optimal organization, and the dynamics of (...)
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  • Communication and Content.Prashant Parikh - 2019 - Berlin, Germany: Language Science Press.
    Communication and content presents a comprehensive and foundational account of meaning based on new versions of situation theory and game theory. The literal and implied meanings of an utterance are derived from first principles assuming little more than the partial rationality of interacting agents. New analyses of a number of diverse phenomena – a wide notion of ambiguity and content encompassing phonetics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and beyond, vagueness, convention and conventional meaning, indeterminacy, universality, the role of truth in communication, semantic (...)
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