Context-dependent Utilities

In Wiebe Van Der Hoek, Wesley H. Holliday & Wen Fang Wang (eds.), Logic, Rationality, and Interaction. Springer. pp. 90-101 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Savage's framework of subjective preference among acts provides a paradigmatic derivation of rational subjective probabilities within a more general theory of rational decisions. The system is based on a set of possible states of the world, and on acts, which are functions that assign to each state a consequence€. The representation theorem states that the given preference between acts is determined by their expected utilities, based on uniquely determined probabilities (assigned to sets of states), and numeric utilities assigned to consequences. Savage's derivation, however, is based on a highly problematic well-known assumption not included among his postulates: for any consequence of an act in some state, there is a "constant act" which has that consequence in all states. This ability to transfer consequences from state to state is, in many cases, miraculous -- including simple scenarios suggested by Savage as natural cases for applying his theory. We propose a simplification of the system, which yields the representation theorem without the constant act assumption. We need only postulates P1-P6. This is done at the cost of reducing the set of acts included in the setup. The reduction excludes certain theoretical infinitary scenarios, but includes the scenarios that should be handled by a system that models human decisions.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
GAICUA
Revision history
First archival date: 2018-08-06
Latest version: 2 (2018-08-06)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-08-06

Total views
101 ( #27,679 of 43,932 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
53 ( #13,458 of 43,932 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.