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Does Optimization Imply Rationality?

Synthese 124 (1):73-111 (2000)

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  1. Rationality, Preference Satisfaction and Anomalous Intentions: Why Rational Choice Theory is Not Self-Defeating.Roberto Fumagalli - 2021 - Theory and Decision 91 (3):337-356.
    The critics of rational choice theory frequently claim that RCT is self-defeating in the sense that agents who abide by RCT’s prescriptions are less successful in satisfying their preferences than they would be if they abided by some normative theory of choice other than RCT. In this paper, I combine insights from philosophy of action, philosophy of mind and the normative foundations of RCT to rebut this often-made criticism. I then explicate the implications of my thesis for the wider philosophical (...)
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  • Philippe Mongin (1950-2020).Jean Baccelli & Marcus Pivato - 2021 - Theory and Decision 90 (1):1-9.
    An obituary of Philippe Mongin (1950-2020).
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  • Why Maximize Expected Choice‐Worthiness?1.William MacAskill & Toby Ord - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):327-353.
    This paper argues in favor of a particular account of decision‐making under normative uncertainty: that, when it is possible to do so, one should maximize expected choice‐worthiness. Though this position has been often suggested in the literature and is often taken to be the ‘default’ view, it has so far received little in the way of positive argument in its favor. After dealing with some preliminaries and giving the basic motivation for taking normative uncertainty into account in our decision‐making, we (...)
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  • And So On. Two Theories of Regress Arguments in Philosophy.Jan Willem Wieland - 2012 - Dissertation,
    This dissertation is on infinite regress arguments in philosophy. Its main goals are to explain what such arguments from many distinct philosophical debates have in common, and to provide guidelines for using and evaluating them. Two theories are reviewed: the Paradox Theory and the Failure Theory. According to the Paradox Theory, infinite regress arguments can be used to refute an existentially or universally quantified statement (e.g. to refute the statement that at least one discussion is settled, or the statement that (...)
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  • Exploiting Cyclic Preference.Arif Ahmed - 2016 - Mind:fzv218.
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  • Exploiting Cyclic Preference.Arif Ahmed - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):975-1022.
    Probably many people have cyclic preferences: they prefer A to B, B to C and C to A for some objects of choice A, B and C. Recent work has resurrected the objection to cyclic preference that agents possessing them are open to exploitation by means of ‘money pumps’. The paper briefly reviews this work and proposes a general approach to problems of sequential choice that makes cyclic preference immune to exploitation by means of these new mechanisms.
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  • A Political Justification of Nudging.Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):385-395.
    Thaler and Sunstein justify nudge policies from welfaristic premises: nudges are acceptable because they benefit the individuals who are nudged. A tacit assumption behind this strategy is that we can identify the true preferences of decision-makers. We argue that this assumption is often unwarranted, and that as a consequence nudge policies must be justified in a different way. A possible strategy is to abandon welfarism and endorse genuine paternalism. Another one is to argue that the biases of decision that choice (...)
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  • Preferences: Neither Behavioural nor Mental.Francesco Guala - 2019 - Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):383-401.
    Recent debates on the nature of preferences in economics have typically assumed that they are to be interpreted either as behavioural regularities or as mental states. In this paper I challenge this dichotomy and argue that neither interpretation is consistent with scientific practice in choice theory and behavioural economics. Preferences are belief-dependent dispositions with a multiply realizable causal basis, which explains why economists are reluctant to make a commitment about their interpretation.
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  • The Impotence of the Value Pump.John Halstead - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (2):195-216.
    Many philosophers have argued that agents must be irrational to lose out in a or . A number of different conclusions have been drawn from this claim. The has been one of the main arguments offered for the axioms of expected utility theory; it has been used to show that options cannot be incomparable or on a par; and it has been used to show that our past choices have normative significance for our subsequent choices. In this article, I argue (...)
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