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In this paper, we explore an underinvestigated question concerning the class of formal models that aim at providing normative guidance. We call such models normative models. In particular, we examine the question of how normative models can successfully exert normative guidance. First, we highlight the absence of a discussion of this question – which is surprising given the extensive debate about the success conditions of descriptive models – and motivate its importance. Second, we introduce and discuss two potential accounts of (...) 

In Richard Bradley’s book, Decision Theory with a Human Face, we have selected two themes for discussion. The first is the BolkerJeffrey theory of decision, which the book uses throughout as a tool to reorganize the whole field of decision theory, and in particular to evaluate the extent to which expected utility theories may be normatively too demanding. The second theme is the redefinition strategy that can be used to defend EU theories against the Allais and Ellsberg paradoxes, a strategy (...) 

The basic axioms or formal conditions of decision theory, especially the ordering condition put on preferences and the axioms underlying the expected utility formula, are subject to a number of counterexamples, some of which can be endowed with normative value and thus fall within the ambit of a philosophical reflection on practical rationality. Against such counterexamples, a defensive strategy has been developed which consists in redescribing the outcomes of the available options in such a way that the threatened axioms or (...) 