Results for 'expected utility theory'

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  1.  59
    Expected Utility Theory, Jeffrey's Decision Theory, and the Paradoxes.Philippe Mongin & Jean Baccelli - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In Richard Bradley's book, Decision Theory with a Human Face (2017), we have selected two themes for discussion. The first is the Bolker-Jeffrey (BJ) 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 (EU) theories may be normatively too demanding. The second theme is the redefinition strategy that can be used to defend EU theories (...)
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  2. Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 1998 - In John Davis, Wade Hands & Uskali Maki (eds.), Handbook of Economic Methodology. Edward Elgar. pp. 342-350.
    The paper summarizes expected utility theory, both in its original von Neumann-Morgenstern version and its later developments, and discusses the normative claims to rationality made by this theory.
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  3. Duhemian Themes in Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 2009 - In Anastasios Brenner and Jean Gayon (ed.), French Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 303-357.
    This monographic chapter explains how expected utility (EU) theory arose in von Neumann and Morgenstern, how it was called into question by Allais and others, and how it gave way to non-EU theories, at least among the specialized quarters of decion theory. I organize the narrative around the idea that the successive theoretical moves amounted to resolving Duhem-Quine underdetermination problems, so they can be assessed in terms of the philosophical recommendations made to overcome these problems. I (...)
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  4. Expected Comparative Utility Theory: A New Theory of Rational Choice.David Robert - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (1):19-37.
    This paper proposes a new theory of rational choice, Expected Comparative Utility (ECU) Theory. It is first argued that for any decision option, a, and any state of the world, G, the measure of the choiceworthiness of a in G is the comparative utility of a in G – that is, the difference in utility, in G, between a and whichever alternative to a carries the greatest utility in G. On the basis of (...)
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  5.  96
    ‘Risk in a Simple Temporal Framework for Expected Utility Theory and for SKAT, the Stages of Knowledge Ahead Theory’, Risk and Decision Analysis, 2(1), 5-32. Selten Co-Author.Robin Pope & Reinhard Selten - 2010/2011 - Risk and Decision Analysis 2 (1).
    The paper re-expresses arguments against the normative validity of expected utility theory in Robin Pope (1983, 1991a, 1991b, 1985, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007). These concern the neglect of the evolving stages of knowledge ahead (stages of what the future will bring). Such evolution is fundamental to an experience of risk, yet not consistently incorporated even in axiomatised temporal versions of expected utility. Its neglect entails a disregard of emotional and financial effects on well-being (...)
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  6. Utilitarianism with and Without Expected Utility.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Joaquin Teruji Thomas - 2016 - Journal of Mathematical Economics 87:77-113.
    We give two social aggregation theorems under conditions of risk, one for constant population cases, the other an extension to variable populations. Intra and interpersonal welfare comparisons are encoded in a single ‘individual preorder’. The theorems give axioms that uniquely determine a social preorder in terms of this individual preorder. The social preorders described by these theorems have features that may be considered characteristic of Harsanyi-style utilitarianism, such as indifference to ex ante and ex post equality. However, the theorems are (...)
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  7. Why High-Risk, Non-Expected-Utility-Maximising Gambles Can Be Rational and Beneficial: The Case of HIV Cure Studies.Lara Buchak - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics (2):1-6.
    Some early phase clinical studies of candidate HIV cure and remission interventions appear to have adverse medical risk–benefit ratios for participants. Why, then, do people participate? And is it ethically permissible to allow them to participate? Recent work in decision theory sheds light on both of these questions, by casting doubt on the idea that rational individuals prefer choices that maximise expected utility, and therefore by casting doubt on the idea that researchers have an ethical obligation not (...)
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  8. A Conditional Expected Utility Model for Myopic Decision Makers.Leigh Tesfatsion - 1980 - Theory and Decision 12 (2):185-206.
    An expected utility model of individual choice is formulated which allows the decision maker to specify his available actions in the form of controls (partial contingency plans) and to simultaneously choose goals and controls in end-mean pairs. It is shown that the Savage expected utility model, the Marschak- Radner team model, the Bayesian statistical decision model, and the standard optimal control model can be viewed as special cases of this goal-control expected utility model.
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  9. Transformative Experience and the Knowledge Norms for Action: Moss on Paul’s Challenge to Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. New York, NY, USA:
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (...)
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  10. Bayesian Decision Theory and Stochastic Independence.Philippe Mongin - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):152-178.
    As stochastic independence is essential to the mathematical development of probability theory, it seems that any foundational work on probability should be able to account for this property. Bayesian decision theory appears to be wanting in this respect. Savage’s postulates on preferences under uncertainty entail a subjective expected utility representation, and this asserts only the existence and uniqueness of a subjective probability measure, regardless of its properties. What is missing is a preference condition corresponding to stochastic (...)
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  11. Surreal Decisions.Eddy Keming Chen & Daniel Rubio - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):54-74.
    Although expected utility theory has proven a fruitful and elegant theory in the finite realm, attempts to generalize it to infinite values have resulted in many paradoxes. In this paper, we argue that the use of John Conway's surreal numbers shall provide a firm mathematical foundation for transfinite decision theory. To that end, we prove a surreal representation theorem and show that our surreal decision theory respects dominance reasoning even in the case of infinite (...)
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  12.  70
    An Objection of Varying Importance to Epistemic Utility Theory.Benjamin Levinstein - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2919-2931.
    Some propositions are more epistemically important than others. Further, how important a proposition is is often a contingent matter—some propositions count more in some worlds than in others. Epistemic Utility Theory cannot accommodate this fact, at least not in any standard way. For EUT to be successful, legitimate measures of epistemic utility must be proper, i.e., every probability function must assign itself maximum expected utility. Once we vary the importance of propositions across worlds, however, normal (...)
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  13. Risk Aversion and the Long Run.Johanna Thoma - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):230-253.
    This article argues that Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory fails to offer a true alternative to expected utility theory. Under commonly held assumptions about dynamic choice and the framing of decision problems, rational agents are guided by their attitudes to temporally extended courses of action. If so, REU theory makes approximately the same recommendations as expected utility theory. Being more permissive about dynamic choice or framing, however, undermines the (...)’s claim to capturing a steady choice disposition in the face of risk. I argue that this poses a challenge to alternatives to expected utility theory more generally. (shrink)
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  14. Exceeding Expectations: Stochastic Dominance as a General Decision Theory.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    The principle that rational agents should maximize expected utility or choiceworthiness is intuitively plausible in many ordinary cases of decision-making under uncertainty. But it is less plausible in cases of extreme, low-probability risk (like Pascal's Mugging), and intolerably paradoxical in cases like the St. Petersburg and Pasadena games. In this paper I show that, under certain conditions, stochastic dominance reasoning can capture most of the plausible implications of expectational reasoning while avoiding most of its pitfalls. Specifically, given sufficient (...)
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  15. Instrumental Rationality Without Separability.Johanna Thoma - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    This paper argues that instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory. The most compelling instrumentalist argument in favour of separability, its core requirement, is that agents with non-separable preferences end up badly off by their own lights in some dynamic choice problems. I argue that once we focus on the question of whether agents' attitudes to uncertain prospects help define their ends in their own right, or instead only assign instrumental value in virtue of the (...)
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  16. Weight for Stephen Finlay.Daan Evers - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):737-749.
    According to Stephen Finlay, ‘A ought to X’ means that X-ing is more conducive to contextually salient ends than relevant alternatives. This in turn is analysed in terms of probability. I show why this theory of ‘ought’ is hard to square with a theory of a reason’s weight which could explain why ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es. I develop two theories of weight to illustrate my point. I first (...)
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  17. Risk and Tradeoffs.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S6):1091-1117.
    The orthodox theory of instrumental rationality, expected utility (EU) theory, severely restricts the way in which risk-considerations can figure into a rational individual's preferences. It is argued here that this is because EU theory neglects an important component of instrumental rationality. This paper presents a more general theory of decision-making, risk-weighted expected utility (REU) theory, of which expected utility maximization is a special case. According to REU theory, the (...)
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  18. Revisiting Risk and Rationality: A Reply to Pettigrew and Briggs.Lara Buchak - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):841-862.
    I have claimed that risk-weighted expected utility maximizers are rational, and that their preferences cannot be captured by expected utility theory. Richard Pettigrew and Rachael Briggs have recently challenged these claims. Both authors argue that only EU-maximizers are rational. In addition, Pettigrew argues that the preferences of REU-maximizers can indeed be captured by EU theory, and Briggs argues that REU-maximizers lose a valuable tool for simplifying their decision problems. I hold that their arguments do (...)
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  19. Utility Theory and Ethics.Mongin Philippe & D'Aspremont Claude - 1998 - In Salvador Barbera, Paul Hammond & Christian Seidl (eds.), Handbook of Utility Theory Volume1: Principles. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 371-481.
    This chapter of the Handbook of Utility Theory aims at covering the connections between utility theory and social ethics. The chapter first discusses the philosophical interpretations of utility functions, then explains how social choice theory uses them to represent interpersonal comparisons of welfare in either utilitarian or non-utilitarian representations of social preferences. The chapter also contains an extensive account of John Harsanyi's formal reconstruction of utilitarianism and its developments in the later literature, especially when (...)
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  20. Measuring Utility: From the Marginal Revolution to Behavioral Economics.Lukas Beck & Anna Alexandrova - 2019 - Journal of Economic Methodology 26 (4):380-384.
    Volume 26, Issue 4, December 2019, Page 380-384.
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  21. Advice for the Steady: Decision Theory and the Requirements of Instrumental Rationality.Johanna Thoma - 2017 - Dissertation,
    Standard decision theory, or rational choice theory, is often interpreted to be a theory of instrumental rationality. This dissertation argues, however, that the core requirements of orthodox decision theory cannot be defended as general requirements of instrumental rationality. Instead, I argue that these requirements can only be instrumentally justified to agents who have a desire to have choice dispositions that are stable over time and across different choice contexts. Past attempts at making instrumentalist arguments for the (...)
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  22. Measuring Belief and Risk Attitude.Sven Neth - 2019 - Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 297:252–272.
    Ramsey (1926) sketches a proposal for measuring the subjective probabilities of an agent by their observable preferences, assuming that the agent is an expected utility maximizer. I show how to extend the spirit of Ramsey's method to a strictly wider class of agents: risk-weighted expected utility maximizers (Buchak 2013). In particular, I show how we can measure the risk attitudes of an agent by their observable preferences, assuming that the agent is a risk-weighted expected (...) maximizer. Further, we can leverage this method to measure the subjective probabilities of a risk-weighted expected utility maximizer. (shrink)
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  23. On the Expected Utility Objection to the Dutch Book Argument for Probabilism.Richard Pettigrew - 2019 - Noûs 1.
    The Dutch Book Argument for Probabilism assumes Ramsey's Thesis (RT), which purports to determine the prices an agent is rationally required to pay for a bet. Recently, a new objection to Ramsey's Thesis has emerged (Hedden 2013, Wronski & Godziszewski 2017, Wronski 2018)--I call this the Expected Utility Objection. According to this objection, it is Maximise Subjective Expected Utility (MSEU) that determines the prices an agent is required to pay for a bet, and this often disagrees (...)
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  24. Avoid Certain Frustration—Or Maybe Not?Neven Sesardić - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    In the situation known as the “cable guy paradox” the expected utility principle and the “avoid certain frustration” principle (ACF) seem to give contradictory advice about what one should do. This article tries to resolve the paradox by presenting an example that weakens the grip of ACF: a modified version of the cable guy problem is introduced in which the choice dictated by ACF loses much of its intuitive appeal.
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  25. A New Problem with Mixed Decisions, Or: You’Ll Regret Reading This Article, But You Still Should.Benjamin Plommer - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):349-373.
    Andy Egan recently drew attention to a class of decision situations that provide a certain kind of informational feedback, which he claims constitute a counterexample to causal decision theory. Arntzenius and Wallace have sought to vindicate a form of CDT by describing a dynamic process of deliberation that culminates in a “mixed” decision. I show that, for many of the cases in question, this proposal depends on an incorrect way of calculating expected utilities, and argue that it is (...)
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  26. Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
    The Lockean Thesis says that you must believe p iff you’re sufficiently confident of it. On some versions, the 'must' asserts a metaphysical connection; on others, it asserts a normative one. On some versions, 'sufficiently confident' refers to a fixed threshold of credence; on others, it varies with proposition and context. Claim: the Lockean Thesis follows from epistemic utility theory—the view that rational requirements are constrained by the norm to promote accuracy. Different versions of this theory generate (...)
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  27.  90
    Infinite Prospects.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & Yoaav Isaacs - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    People with the kind of preferences that give rise to the St. Petersburg paradox are problematic---but not because there is anything wrong with infinite utilities. Rather, such people cannot assign the St. Petersburg gamble any value that any kind of outcome could possibly have. Their preferences also violate an infinitary generalization of Savage's Sure Thing Principle, which we call the *Countable Sure Thing Principle*, as well as an infinitary generalization of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Independence axiom, which we call *Countable (...)
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  28. Morality Under Risk.Chad Lee-Stronach - 2019 - Dissertation,
    Many argue that absolutist moral theories -- those that prohibit particular kinds of actions or trade-offs under all circumstances -- cannot adequately account for the permissibility of risky actions. In this dissertation, I defend various versions of absolutism against this critique, using overlooked resources from formal decision theory. Against the prevailing view, I argue that almost all absolutist moral theories can give systematic and plausible verdicts about what to do in risky cases. In doing so, I show that critics (...)
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  29. Evaluating Time-Continuous Action Alternatives From the Perspective of Negative Utilitarianism: A Layered Approach.Erich Rast - 2013 - Proceedings of the GV-Conf 2013.
    A layered approach to the evaluation of action alternatives with continuous time for decision making under the moral doctrine of Negative Utilitarianism is presented and briefly discussed from a philosophical perspective.
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  30. Disclosure and Rationality: Comparative Risk Information and Decision-Making About Prevention.Peter H. Schwartz - 2009 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):199-213.
    With the growing focus on prevention in medicine, studies of how to describe risk have become increasing important. Recently, some researchers have argued against giving patients “comparative risk information,” such as data about whether their baseline risk of developing a particular disease is above or below average. The concern is that giving patients this information will interfere with their consideration of more relevant data, such as the specific chance of getting the disease (the “personal risk”), the risk reduction the treatment (...)
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  31. The Enigma Of Probability.Nick Ergodos - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 2 (1):37-71.
    Using “brute reason” I will show why there can be only one valid interpretation of probability. The valid interpretation turns out to be a further refinement of Popper’s Propensity interpretation of probability. Via some famous probability puzzles and new thought experiments I will show how all other interpretations of probability fail, in particular the Bayesian interpretations, while these puzzles do not present any difficulties for the interpretation proposed here. In addition, the new interpretation casts doubt on some concepts often taken (...)
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  32. On Risk and Rationality.Brad Armendt - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S6):1-9.
    It is widely held that the influence of risk on rational decisions is not entirely explained by the shape of an agent’s utility curve. Buchak (Erkenntnis, 2013, Risk and rationality, Oxford University Press, Oxford, in press) presents an axiomatic decision theory, risk-weighted expected utility theory (REU), in which decision weights are the agent’s subjective probabilities modified by his risk-function r. REU is briefly described, and the global applicability of r is discussed. Rabin’s (Econometrica 68:1281–1292, 2000) (...)
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  33. Prioritarianism and the Measure of Utility.Michael Otsuka - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (1):1-22.
    I argue that prioritarianism cannot be assessed in abstraction from an account of the measure of utility. Rather, the soundness of this view crucially depends on what counts as a greater, lesser, or equal increase in a person’s utility. In particular, prioritarianism cannot accommodate a normatively compelling measure of utility that is captured by the axioms of John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern’s expected utility theory. Nor can it accommodate a plausible and elegant generalization (...)
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  34. A Simpler and More Realistic Subjective Decision Theory.Haim Gaifman & Yang Liu - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4205--4241.
    In his classic book “the Foundations of Statistics” Savage developed a formal system of rational decision making. The system is based on (i) a set of possible states of the world, (ii) a set of consequences, (iii) a set of acts, which are functions from states to consequences, and (iv) a preference relation over the acts, which represents the preferences of an idealized rational agent. The goal and the culmination of the enterprise is a representation theorem: Any preference relation that (...)
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  35. Are “All-and-Some” Statements Falsifiable After All?: The Example of Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 1986 - Economics and Philosophy 2 (2):185-195.
    Popper's well-known demarcation criterion has often been understood to distinguish statements of empirical science according to their logical form. Implicit in this interpretation of Popper's philosophy is the belief that when the universe of discourse of the empirical scientist is infinite, empirical universal sentences are falsifiable but not verifiable, whereas the converse holds for existential sentences. A remarkable elaboration of this belief is to be found in Watkins's early work on the statements he calls “all-and-some,” such as: “For every metal (...)
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  36. Decision Theory, Philosophical Perspectives.Darren Bradley - 2013 - In Hal Pashler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.
    Decision theory is concerned with how agents should act when the consequences of their actions are uncertain. The central principle of contemporary decision theory is that the rational choice is the choice that maximizes subjective expected utility. This entry explains what this means, and discusses the philosophical motivations and consequences of the theory. The entry will consider some of the main problems and paradoxes that decision theory faces, and some of responses that can be (...)
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  37.  10
    Utility, Universality, and Impartiality in Adam Smith’s Jurisprudence.S. M. Amadae - 2008 - The Adam Smith Review 4:238-246.
    This paper examines how the concepts of utility, impartiality, and universality worked together to form the foundation of Adam Smith's jurisprudence. It argues that the theory of utility consistent with contemporary rational choice theory is insufficient to account for Smith's use of utility. Smith's jurisprudence relies on the impartial spectator's sympathetic judgment over whether third parties are injured, and not individuals' expected utility associated with individuals' expected gains from rendering judgments over innocence (...)
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  38.  15
    Maximising Expected Value Under Axiological Uncertainty. An Axiomatic Approach.Stefan Riedener - 2015 - Dissertation, Oxford
    The topic of this thesis is axiological uncertainty – the question of how you should evaluate your options if you are uncertain about which axiology is true. As an answer, I defend Expected Value Maximisation (EVM), the view that one option is better than another if and only if it has the greater expected value across axiologies. More precisely, I explore the axiomatic foundations of this view. I employ results from state-dependent utility theory, extend them in (...)
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  39. Dutch Books, Additivity, and Utility Theory.Brad Armendt - 1993 - Philosophical Topics 21 (1):1-20.
    One guide to an argument's significance is the number and variety of refutations it attracts. By this measure, the Dutch book argument has considerable importance.2 Of course this measure alone is not a sure guide to locating arguments deserving of our attention—if a decisive refutation has really been given, we are better off pursuing other topics. But the presence of many and varied counterarguments at least suggests that either the refutations are controversial, or that their target admits of more than (...)
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  40. Representation Theorems and the Foundations of Decision Theory.Christopher J. G. Meacham & Jonathan Weisberg - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):641 - 663.
    Representation theorems are often taken to provide the foundations for decision theory. First, they are taken to characterize degrees of belief and utilities. Second, they are taken to justify two fundamental rules of rationality: that we should have probabilistic degrees of belief and that we should act as expected utility maximizers. We argue that representation theorems cannot serve either of these foundational purposes, and that recent attempts to defend the foundational importance of representation theorems are unsuccessful. As (...)
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  41. Upping the Stakes and the Preface Paradox.Jonny Blamey - 2013 - In Frank Zenker (ed.), Bayesian Argumentation. Springer. pp. 195-210.
    Abstract The Preface Paradox, first introduced by David Makinson (1961), presents a plausible scenario where an agent is evidentially certain of each of a set of propositions without being evidentially certain of the conjunction of the set of propositions. Given reasonable assumptions about the nature of evidential certainty, this appears to be a straightforward contradiction. We solve the paradox by appeal to stake size sensitivity, which is the claim that evidential probability is sensitive to stake size. The argument is that (...)
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  42. Context-Dependent Utilities.Haim Gaifman & Yang Liu - 2015 - In Wiebe Van Der Hoek, Wesley H. Holliday & Wen Fang Wang (eds.), Logic, Rationality, and Interaction. Springer. pp. 90-101.
    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 (...)
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  43. Must Rational Intentions Maximize Utility?Ralph Wedgwood - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):73-92.
    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 (...)
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  44. Ranking Multidimensional Alternatives and Uncertain Prospects.Philippe Mongin - 2015 - Journal of Economic Theory 157:146-171.
    We introduce a ranking of multidimensional alternatives, including uncertain prospects as a particular case, when these objects can be given a matrix form. This ranking is separable in terms of rows and columns, and continuous and monotonic in the basic quantities. Owing to the theory of additive separability developed here, we derive very precise numerical representations over a large class of domains (i.e., typically notof the Cartesian product form). We apply these representationsto (1)streams of commodity baskets through time, (2)uncertain (...)
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  45. An Expected Value Approach to the Dual-Use Problem.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - In Brian Rappert & Michael Selgelid (eds.), On the Dual Uses of Science and Ethics: Principles, Practices, and Prospects. ANU Press.
    In this chapter I examine how expected-value theory might inform responses to what I call the dual-use problem. I begin by defining that problem. I then outline a procedure, which invokes expected-value theory, for tackling it. I first illustrate the procedure with the aid of a simplified schematic example of a dual-use problem, and then describe how it might also guide responses to more complex real-world cases. I outline some attractive features of the procedure. Finally, I (...)
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  46. "When Do I Get My Money" a Probabilistic Theory of Knowledge.Jonny Blamey - 2011 - Dissertation, KCL
    The value of knowledge can vary in that knowledge of important facts is more valuable than knowledge of trivialities. This variation in the value of knowledge is mirrored by a variation in evidential standards. Matters of greater importance require greater evidential support. But all knowledge, however trivial, needs to be evidentially certain. So on one hand we have a variable evidential standard that depends on the value of the knowledge, and on the other, we have the invariant standard of evidential (...)
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  47.  94
    Too Much of a Good Thing: Decision-Making in Cases with Infinitely Many Utility Contributions.Christopher J. G. Meacham - forthcoming - Synthese:1-41.
    Theories that use expected utility maximization to evaluate acts have difficulty handling cases with infinitely many utility contributions. In this paper I present and motivate a way of modifying such theories to deal with these cases, employing what I call “direct difference taking”. This proposal has a number of desirable features: it’s natural and well-motivated, it satisfies natural dominance intuitions, and it yields plausible prescriptions in a wide range of cases. I then compare my account to the (...)
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  48. Counterfactual Desirability.Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):485-533.
    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais Paradox. In this paper we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey's decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be desirability (...)
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  49. Success-First Decision Theories.Preston Greene - 2018 - In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Newcomb's Problem. Cambridge University Press. pp. 115–137.
    The standard formulation of Newcomb's problem compares evidential and causal conceptions of expected utility, with those maximizing evidential expected utility tending to end up far richer. Thus, in a world in which agents face Newcomb problems, the evidential decision theorist might ask the causal decision theorist: "if you're so smart, why ain’cha rich?” Ultimately, however, the expected riches of evidential decision theorists in Newcomb problems do not vindicate their theory, because their success does not (...)
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  50. Commentary/Elqayam & Evans: Subtracting “Ought” From “Is”.Natalie Gold, Andrew M. Colman & Briony D. Pulfordb - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5).
    Normative theories can be useful in developing descriptive theories, as when normative subjective expected utility theory is used to develop descriptive rational choice theory and behavioral game theory. “Ought” questions are also the essence of theories of moral reasoning, a domain of higher mental processing that could not survive without normative considerations.
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