Must rational intentions maximize utility?

Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):73-92 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Suppose that it is rational to choose or intend a course of action if and only if the course of action maximizes some sort of expectation of some sort of value. What sort of value should this definition appeal to? According to an influential neo-Humean view, the answer is “Utility”, where utility is defined as a measure of subjective preference. According to a rival neo-Aristotelian view, the answer is “Choiceworthiness”, where choiceworthiness is an irreducibly normative notion of a course of action that is good in a certain way. The neo-Human view requires preferences to be measurable by means of a utility function. Various interpretations of what exactly a “preference” is are explored, to see if there is any interpretation that supports the claim that a rational agent’s “preferences” must satisfy the “axioms” that are necessary for them to be measurable in this way. It is argued that the only interpretation that supports the idea that the rational agent’s preferences must meet these axioms interprets “preferences” as a kind of value-judgment. But this turns out to be version of the neo-Aristotelian view, rather than the neo-Humean view. Rational intentions maximize expected choiceworthiness, not expected utility.
Reprint years
2017
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
WEDUOC
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
.Shafer-Landau, Russ (ed.)

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2012-03-06

Total views
231 ( #14,031 of 41,652 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #15,360 of 41,652 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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