Parity, prospects, and predominance

Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1077-1095 (2019)
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Abstract

Let’s say that you regard two things as on a par when you don’t prefer one to other and aren’t indifferent between them. What does rationality require of you when choosing between risky options whose outcomes you regard as on a par? According to Prospectism, you are required to choose the option with the best prospects, where an option’s prospects is a probability-distribution over its potential outcomes. In this paper, I argue that Prospectism violates a dominance principle—which I call The Principle of Predominance—because it sometimes requires you to do something that’s no better than the alternatives and might be worse. I argue that this undermines the strongest argument that’s been given in favor of Prospectism.

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Ryan Doody
Brown University

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