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Decision theory and folk psychology

In Michael Bacharach & Susan Hurley (eds.), Essays in the Foundations of Decision Theory. Blackwell. pp. 147-175 (1991)

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  1. Rational Preferences and Reindividuation of Relevant Alternatives in Decision Theory: Towards a Theory of Representation.Hadrien Mamou - forthcoming - Topoi:1-10.
    In this essay, I will examine Broome’s argument in Weighing Goods that aims to show that moderate Humeanism, according to which any coherent sets of preferences should be rationally acceptable, is not a sustainable view of decision theory. I will focus more specifically on the argument Broome uses to support his claim, and show that although it may get some traction, it does not undermine moderate Humeanism as we know it. After reconstructing Broome’s argument, I argue that standard decision theory (...)
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  • ‘Kinds of Practical Reasons: Attitude-Related Reasons and Exclusionary Reasons’.Christian Piller - 2006 - In J. A. Pinto S. Miguens (ed.), Analyses. pp. 98-105.
    I start by explaining what attitude-related reasons are and why it is plausible to assume that, at least in the domain of practical reason, there are such reasons. Then I turn to Raz’s idea that the practice of practical reasoning commits us to what he calls exclusionary reasons. Being excluded would be a third way, additional to being outweighed and being undermined, in which a reason can be defeated. I try to show that attitude-related reasons can explain the phenomena Raz (...)
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  • Mentalism Versus Behaviourism in Economics: A Philosophy-of-Science Perspective.Christian List & Franz Dietrich - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (2):249-281.
    Behaviourism is the view that preferences, beliefs, and other mental states in social-scientific theories are nothing but constructs re-describing people's behaviour. Mentalism is the view that they capture real phenomena, on a par with the unobservables in science, such as electrons and electromagnetic fields. While behaviourism has gone out of fashion in psychology, it remains influential in economics, especially in ‘revealed preference’ theory. We defend mentalism in economics, construed as a positive science, and show that it fits best scientific practice. (...)
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  • Where Do Preferences Come From?Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2013 - International Journal of Game Theory 42 (3):613-637.
    Rational choice theory analyzes how an agent can rationally act, given his or her preferences, but says little about where those preferences come from. Preferences are usually assumed to be fixed and exogenously given. Building on related work on reasons and rational choice, we describe a framework for conceptualizing preference formation and preference change. In our model, an agent's preferences are based on certain "motivationally salient" properties of the alternatives over which the preferences are held. Preferences may change as new (...)
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  • Deliberation and Decision.Phillip Pettit - 2010 - In Constantine Sandis & Timothy O'Connor (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Blackwell.
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  • La Théorie de la Décision Et la Psychologie du Sens Commun.Philippe Mongin - 2011 - Social Science Information 50 (3-4):351-374.
    Taking the philosophical standpoint, this article compares the mathematical theory of individual decision-making with the folk psychology conception of action, desire and belief. It narrows down its topic by carrying the comparison vis-à-vis Savage's system and its technical concept of subjective probability, which is referred to the basic model of betting as in Ramsey. The argument is organized around three philosophical theses: (i) decision theory is nothing but folk psychology stated in formal language (Lewis), (ii) the former substantially improves on (...)
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  • Making Up Your Mind: How Language Enables Self‐Knowledge, Self‐Knowability and Personhood.Philip Pettit - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):3-26.
    If language is to serve the basic purpose of communicating our attitudes, we must be constructed so as to form beliefs in those propositions that we truthfully assert on the basis of careful assent. Thus, other things being equal, I can rely on believing those things to which I give my careful assent. And so my ability to assent or dissent amounts to an ability to make up my mind about what I believe. This capacity, in tandem with a similar (...)
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  • How Expressivists Can and Should Explain Inconsistency.Derek Clayton Baker & Jack Woods - 2015 - Ethics 125 (2):391-424.
    Mark Schroeder has argued that all reasonable forms of inconsistency of attitude consist of having the same attitude type towards a pair of inconsistent contents (A-type inconsistency). We suggest that he is mistaken in this, offering a number of intuitive examples of pairs of distinct attitudes types with consistent contents which are intuitively inconsistent (B-type inconsistency). We further argue that, despite the virtues of Schroeder's elegant A-type expressivist semantics, B-type inconsistency is in many ways the more natural choice in developing (...)
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  • Time, Hope, and Independence: An Argument for More Structure in Decision Theory.Goreti Faria - unknown
    My thesis explores alternatives to the orthodox model of decision theory. I criticise it by focusing on motivations that, for different reasons, I believe should not be labelled as a consequence. I start by describing what I call the orthodox theory of choice. I describe both the theories proposed by Von Neumann and Morgenstern, and Savage. This is followed by a discussion of the individuation strategy, and, in particular, John Broome’s proposal of an individuation by justifiers ). I then focus (...)
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  • Perspectival Plurality, Relativism, and Multiple Indexing.Dan Zeman - 2018 - In Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Vol. 2. Semantics Archives. pp. 1353-1370.
    In this paper I focus on a recently discussed phenomenon illustrated by sentences containing predicates of taste: the phenomenon of " perspectival plurality " , whereby sentences containing two or more predicates of taste have readings according to which each predicate pertains to a different perspective. This phenomenon has been shown to be problematic for (at least certain versions of) relativism. My main aim is to further the discussion by showing that the phenomenon extends to other perspectival expressions than predicates (...)
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  • Preference, Deliberation and Satisfaction.Philip Pettit - 2006 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 59:131-154.
    In his famous lecture on ‘The Concept of Preference’ Amartya Sen opened up the topic of preference and preference-satisfaction to critical, philosophical debate. He pointed out that preference in the sense in which choice reveals one’s preference need not be preference in the sense in which people are personally better off for having their preferences satisfied. And on the basis of that observation he built a powerful critique of some common assumptions in welfare economics.
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  • 11 Why Don't You Want to Be Rich? Preference Explanation on the Basis of Causal Structure.Till Grune-Yanoff - 2007 - In J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.), Causation and Explanation. MIT Press. pp. 4--217.
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  • The Belief-Desire Law.Christopher Gauker - 2005 - Facta Philosophica 7 (2):121-144.
    Many philosophers hold that for various reasons there must be psychological laws governing beliefs and desires. One of the few serious examples that they offer is the _belief-desire law_, which states, roughly, that _ceteris paribus_ people do what they believe will satisfy their desires. This paper argues that, in fact, there is no such law. In particular, decision theory does not support the contention that there is such a law.
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  • Reason-Based Rationalization.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - manuscript
    [This version of the paper has been superseded by "Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework", forthcoming in Economics & Philosophy.] -/- We introduce a “reason-based” way of rationalizing an agent’s choice behaviour, which explains choices by specifying which properties of the options or choice context the agent cares about (the “motivationally salient properties”) and how he or she cares about these properties (the “fundamental preference relation”). Reason-based rationalizations can explain non-classical choice behaviour, including boundedly rational and sophisticated rational behaviour, (...)
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  • What Matters and How It Matters: A Choice-Theoretic Representation of Moral Theories.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):421-479.
    We present a new “reason-based” approach to the formal representation of moral theories, drawing on recent decision-theoretic work. We show that any moral theory within a very large class can be represented in terms of two parameters: a specification of which properties of the objects of moral choice matter in any given context, and a specification of how these properties matter. Reason-based representations provide a very general taxonomy of moral theories, as differences among theories can be attributed to differences in (...)
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  • Rational Choice, Functional Selection and Empty Black Boxes.Philip Pettit - 2000 - Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (1):33-57.
    In order to vindicate rational-choice theory as a mode of explaining social patterns in general - social patterns beyond the narrow range of economic behaviour - we have to recognize the legitimacy of explaining the resilience of certain patterns of behaviour: that is, explaining, not necessarily why they emerged or have been sustained, but why they are robust and reliable. And once we allow the legitimacy of explaining resilience, then we can see how functionalist theory may also serve us well (...)
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  • Reason-Based Choice and Context-Dependence: An Explanatory Framework.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (2):175-229.
    We introduce a “reason-based” framework for explaining and predicting individual choices. It captures the idea that a decision-maker focuses on some but not all properties of the options and chooses an option whose motivationally salient properties he/she most prefers. Reason-based explanations allow us to distinguish between two kinds of context-dependent choice: the motivationally salient properties may (i) vary across choice contexts, and (ii) include not only “intrinsic” properties of the options, but also “context-related” properties. Our framework can accommodate boundedly rational (...)
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  • Ambivalent Desires and the Problem with Reduction.Derek Baker - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):37-47.
    Ambivalence is most naturally characterized as a case of conflicting desires. In most cases, an agent’s intrinsic desires conflict contingently: there is some possible world in which both desires would be satisfied. This paper argues, though, that there are cases in which intrinsic desires necessarily conflict—i.e., the desires are not jointly satisfiable in any possible world. Desiring a challenge for its own sake is a paradigm case of such a desire. Ambivalence of this sort in an agent’s desires creates special (...)
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  • The Locality and Globality of Instrumental Rationality: The Normative Significance of Preference Reversals.Brian Kim - 2014 - Synthese 191 (18):4353-4376.
    When we ask a decision maker to express her preferences, it is typically assumed that we are eliciting a pre-existing set of preferences. However, empirical research has suggested that our preferences are often constructed on the fly for the decision problem at hand. This paper explores the ramifications of this empirical research for our understanding of instrumental rationality. First, I argue that these results pose serious challenges for the traditional decision-theoretic view of instrumental rationality, which demands global coherence amongst all (...)
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  • Zero Tolerance for Pragmatics.Christopher Gauker - 2008 - Synthese 165 (3):359–371.
    The proposition expressed by a sentence is relative to a context. But what determines the content of the context? Many theorists would include among these determinants aspects of the speaker’s intention in speaking. My thesis is that, on the contrary, the determinants of the context never include the speaker’s intention. My argument for this thesis turns on a consideration of the role that the concept of proposition expressed in context is supposed to play in a theory of linguistic communication. To (...)
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  • Neophobia.John Collins - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):283-300.
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