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  1. A. Ahmed (2013). Causal Decision Theory: A Counterexample. Philosophical Review 122 (2):289-306.
    The essay presents a novel counterexample to Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Its interest is that it generates a case in which CDT violates the very principles that motivated it in the first place. The essay argues that the objection applies to all extant formulations of CDT and that the only way out for that theory is a modification of it that entails incompatibilism. The essay invites the reader to find this consequence of CDT a reason to reject it.
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  2. Arif Ahmed, Smokers and Psychos: Egan Cases Don't Work.
    Andy Egan's Smoking Lesion and Psycho Button cases are supposed to be counterexamples to Causal Decision Theory. This paper argues that they are not: more precisely, it argues that if CDT makes the right call in Newcomb's problem then it makes the right call in Egan cases too.
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  3. Arif Ahmed (2014). Causal Decision Theory and the Fixity of the Past. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):665-685.
    Causal decision theory (CDT) cares only about the effects of a contemplated act, not its causes. The article constructs a case in which CDT consequently recommends a bet that the agent is certain to lose, rather than a bet that she is certain to win. CDT is plainly giving wrong advice in this case. It therefore stands refuted. 1 The Argument2 The Argument in More Detail2.1 The betting mechanism2.2 Soft determinism2.3 The content of P 2.4 The argument again3 The Descriptive (...)
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  4. Arif Ahmed (2014). Dicing with Death. Analysis 74 (4):587-592.
    You should rather play hide-and-seek against someone who cannot predict where you hide than against someone who can, as the article illustrates in connection with a high-stakes example. Causal Decision Theory denies this. So Causal Decision Theory is false.
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  5. Arif Ahmed (2012). Push the Button. Philosophy of Science 79 (3):386-395.
    Opponents of Causal Decision Theory (CDT) sometimes claim (i) that it gives the wrong advice in Egan-style cases, where the CDT-endorsed act brings news that it causes a bad outcome; (ii) that CDT gives the right advice in Newcomb cases, where it is known in advance that the CDT-act causes you to be richer than the alternative. This paper argues that (i) and (ii) cannot both be true if rational preference over acts is transitive.
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  6. Arif Ahmed & Adam Caulton (2014). Causal Decision Theory and EPR Correlations. Synthese 191 (18):4315-4352.
    The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction to show that anyone who gives any of the three hypotheses any (...)
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  7. Chrisoula Andreou, Dynamic Choice. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  8. Chrisoula Andreou (2007). There Are Preferences and Then There Are Preferences. In Barbara Montero and Mark D. White (ed.), Economics and the Mind.
  9. Horacio Arlo-Costa, John Collins & Isaac Levi (1995). Desire-as-Belief Implies Opinionation or Indifference. Analysis 55 (1):2-5.
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  10. Horacio Arló-Costa & Jeffrey Helzner (2010). Ambiguity Aversion: The Explanatory Power of Indeterminate Probabilities. Synthese 172 (1):37 - 55.
    Daniel Ellsberg presented in Ellsberg (The Quarterly Journal of Economics 75:643–669, 1961) various examples questioning the thesis that decision making under uncertainty can be reduced to decision making under risk. These examples constitute one of the main challenges to the received view on the foundations of decision theory offered by Leonard Savage in Savage (1972). Craig Fox and Amos Tversky have, nevertheless, offered an indirect defense of Savage. They provided in Fox and Tversky (1995) an explanation of Ellsberg’s two-color problem (...)
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  11. Marcus Arvan (forthcoming). How to Rationally Approach Life's Transformative Experiences. Philosophical Psychology:1-20.
    In a widely discussed forthcoming article, “What you can’t expect when you’re expecting”, as well as in a forthcoming book, L.A. Paul uses the notion of transformative experience to challenge culturally and philosophically traditional views about how to rationally make major life-decisions, most specifically the decision of whether to have children. The present paper argues that if the problem Paul presents has no direct solution—if there is no way to defend the philosophically and culturally dominant approach to rational decision-making for (...)
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  12. Michael Bacharach (1992). Backward Induction and Beliefs About Oneself. Synthese 91 (3):247 - 284.
    According to decision theory, the rational initial action in a sequential decision-problem may be found by backward induction or folding back. But the reasoning which underwrites this claim appeals to the agent's beliefs about what she will later believe, about what she will later believe she will still later believe, and so forth. There are limits to the depth of people's beliefs. Do these limits pose a threat to the standard theory of rational sequential choice? It is argued, first, that (...)
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  13. Andrew Bacon (2011). A Paradox for Supertask Decision Makers. Philosophical Studies 153 (2):307.
    I consider two puzzles in which an agent undergoes a sequence of decision problems. In both cases it is possible to respond rationally to any given problem yet it is impossible to respond rationally to every problem in the sequence, even though the choices are independent. In particular, although it might be a requirement of rationality that one must respond in a certain way at each point in the sequence, it seems it cannot be a requirement to respond as such (...)
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  14. Richard Bradley & Christian List (2009). Desire-as-Belief Revisited. Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
    On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...)
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  15. Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Decision Theory. In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan Hajek (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
  16. Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Risk and Tradeoffs. Erkenntnis:1-27.
    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 weight that each outcome gets in decision-making is not the subjective probability (...)
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  17. D. Collins (1988). Belief, Desire, and Revision. Mind 97 (July):333-42.
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  18. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Reason-Based Rationalization.
    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, and predict choices in unobserved contexts, an issue neglected in standard choice theory. We characterize the behavioural implications of different reason-based models (...)
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  19. Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2005). The Two-Envelope Paradox: An Axiomatic Approach. Mind 114 (454):239-248.
    There has been much discussion on the two-envelope paradox. Clark and Shackel (2000) have proposed a solution to the paradox, which has been refuted by Meacham and Weisberg (2003). Surprisingly, however, the literature still contains no axiomatic justification for the claim that one should be indifferent between the two envelopes before opening one of them. According to Meacham and Weisberg, "decision theory does not rank swapping against sticking [before opening any envelope]" (p. 686). To fill this gap in the literature, (...)
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  20. Simone Duca (2011). The Suppositional Ramsey Test and Decision-Instability. Topoi (1):53-57.
    Abstract I analyse the relationship between the Ramsey Test (RT) for the acceptance of indicative conditionals and the so-called problem of decision-instability. In particular, I argue that the situations which allegedly bring about this problem are troublesome just in case the relevant conditionals are evaluated by non-suppositional versions, e.g. causal/evidential, of the test. In contrast, a suppositional RT, by highlighting the metacognitive nature of the evaluation of indicative conditionals, allows an agent to run a simulation of such evaluation, without yet (...)
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  21. Kenny Easwaran (2008). Strong and Weak Expectations. Mind 117 (467):633-641.
    Fine has shown that assigning any value to the Pasadena game is consistent with a certain standard set of axioms for decision theory. However, I suggest that it might be reasonable to believe that the value of an individual game is constrained by the long-run payout of repeated plays of the game. Although there is no value that repeated plays of the Pasadena game converges to in the standard strong sense, I show that there is a weaker sort of convergence (...)
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  22. Danny Frederick, Theoretical and Practical Reason: A Critical Rationalist View.
    If the task of theoretical reason is to discover truth or reasons for belief, then theoretical reason is impossible. Attempts to circumvent this by appeal to probabilities are self-defeating. If the task of practical reason is to discover what we ought to do or what actions are desirable or valuable, then practical reason is impossible. Appeal to the subjective ought is self-defeating and often gives either a wrong answer or a self-contradictory one. I argue that the task of theoretical reason (...)
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  23. Joseph S. Fulda (2009). Perfectly Marked, Fair Tests with Unfair Marks. The Mathematical Gazette 93 (527):256-260.
    Shows how, as a consequence of the Arrow Impossibility Theorem, objectivity in grading is chimerical, given a sufficiently knowledgeable teacher (of his students, not his subject) in a sufficiently small class. -/- PDF posted with the permission of the Editor, the Editor-in-Chief, and the Publisher. -/- Includes reply.
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  24. Johan E. Gustafsson (2011). A Note in Defence of Ratificationism. Erkenntnis 75 (1):147–150.
    Andy Egan argues that neither evidential nor causal decision theory gives the intuitively right recommendation in the cases The Smoking Lesion, The Psychopath Button, and The Three-Option Smoking Lesion. Furthermore, Egan argues that we cannot avoid these problems by any kind of ratificationism. This paper develops a new version of ratificationism that gives the right recommendations. Thus, the new proposal has an advantage over evidential and casual decision theory and standard ratificationist evidential decision theory.
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  25. Alan Hájek (2005). The Cable Guy Paradox. Analysis 65 (286):112–119.
    The Cable Guy is coming. You have to be home in order for him to install your new cable service, but to your chagrin he cannot tell you exactly when he will come. He will definitely come between 8.a.m. and 4 p.m. tomorrow, but you have no more information than that. I offer to keep you company while you wait. To make things more interesting, we decide now to bet on the Cable Guy’s arrival time. We subdivide the relevant part (...)
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  26. Alan Hájek & Philip Pettit (2004). Desire Beyond Belief. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):77-92.
    David Lewis [1988; 1996] canvases an anti-Humean thesis about mental states: that the rational agent desires something to the extent that he or she believes it to be good. Lewis offers and refutes a decision-theoretic formulation of it, the `Desire-as- Belief Thesis'. Other authors have since added further negative results in the spirit of Lewis's. We explore ways of being anti-Humean that evade all these negative results. We begin by providing background on evidential decision theory and on Lewis's negative results. (...)
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  27. Gary Malinas (1997). Simpson's Paradox and the Wayward Researcher. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (3):343 – 359.
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  28. Gary Malinas & John Bigelow (2001). Simpson's Paradox: A Logically Benign, Empirically Treacherous Hydra. The Monist 84 (2):265 - 283.
    An association between a pair of variables can consistently be inverted in each subpopulation of a population when the population is partitioned. E.g., a medical treatment can be associated with a higher recovery rate for treated patients compared with the recovery rate for untreated patients; yet, treated male patients and treated female patients can each have lower recovery rates when compared with untreated male patients and untreated female patients. Conversely, higher recovery rates for treated patients in each subpopulation are consistent (...)
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  29. Joe Mintoff (2007). Minimally Constrained Maximisation. In Bruno Verbeek (ed.), Reasons and Intentions. Ashgate Pub. Ltd..
    This chapter argues that, under certain conditions, forming an intention makes an action rational which would otherwise not have been rational, since intentions (together with beliefs) in and of themselves provide deductive reasons for further intentions and actions, an argument which builds on previous work by R M Hare, Michael Bratman and others, It also provides an articulation and defense of the concept of "minimally constrained maximization" as a unified general solution to the well-known paradoxes of rationality, including the paradox (...)
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  30. Joe Mintoff (1999). Decision-Making and the Backward Induction Argument. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (1):64–77.
    The traditional form of the backward induction argument, which concludes that two initially rational agents would always defect, relies on the assumption that they believe they will be rational in later rounds. Philip Pettit and Robert Sugden have argued, however, that this assumption is unjustified. The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct the argument without using this assumption. The formulation offered concludes that two initially rational agents would decide to always defect, and relies only on the weaker assumption that (...)
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  31. Joe Mintoff (1997). Rational Cooperation, Intention, and Reconsideration. Ethics 107 (4):612-643.
    In their attempt to provide a reason to be moral, contractarians such as David Gauthier are concerned with situations allowing a group of agents the chance of mutual benefit, so long as at least some of them are prepared to constrain their maximising behaviour. But what justifies this constraint? Gauthier argues that it could be rational (because maximising) to intend to constrain one's behaviour, and in certain circumstances to act on this intention. The purpose of this paper is to examine (...)
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  32. Joe Mintoff (1996). On a Problem for Contractarianism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (1):98 – 116.
    To show it is sometimes rational to cooperate in the Prisoner's Dilemma, David Gauthier has claimed that if it is rational to form an intention then it is sometimes rational act on it. However, the Paradox of Deterrence and the Toxin Puzzle seem to put this general type of claim into doubt. For even if it is rational to form a deterrent intention, it is not rational act on it (if it is not successful); and even if it is rational (...)
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  33. Joe Mintoff (1993). Rational Cooperation, Irrational Retaliation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (4):362-380.
    David Gauthier has argued that, under certain conditions, cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma is rational. A crucial principle he employs in this argument, however, also implies the pointless retaliation after a failed threat could also be rational. In this paper, I introduce one possible reformulation of the Cooperation Argument, by replacing its second premise with a principle connecting rationally adopted intentions, rational action, and rational reconsideration, and a specific theory of rational reconsideration. I then argue that this reformulated Cooperation Argument (...)
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  34. Huw Price (1989). Defending Desire-as-Belief. Mind 98 (January):119-27.
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  35. Reed Richter (1990). Ideal Rationality and Hand Waving. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (2):147 – 156.
    In discussions surrounding epistemology and rationality, it is often useful to assume an agent is rational or ideally rational. Often, this ideal rationality assumption is spelled out along the following lines: -/- 1. The agent believes everything about a situation which the evidence entitles her to believe and nothing which it does not. -/- 2. The agent believes all the logical consequences of any of her beliefs. -/- 3. The agent knows her own mind: if she believes P, she believes (...)
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  36. Reed Richter (1984). Rationality Revisited. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
    This paper looks at a dispute decision theory about how best to characterize expected utility maximization and express the logic of rational choice. Where A1, … , An are actions open to some particular agent, and S1, … , Sn are mutually exclusive states of the world such that the agent knows at least one of which obtains, does the logic of rational choice require an agent to consider the conditional probability of choice Ai given that some state Si obtains, (...)
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  37. Hans Rott (2011). Odd Choices: On the Rationality of Some Alleged Anomalies of Decision and Inference. Topoi 30 (1):59-69.
    This paper presents a number of apparent anomalies in rational choice scenarios, and their translation into the logic of everyday reasoning. Three classes of examples that have been discussed in the context of probabilistic choice since the 1960s (by Debreu, Tversky and others) are analyzed in a non-probabilistic setting. It is shown how they can at the same time be regarded as logical problems that concern the drawing of defeasible inferences from a given information base. I argue that initial appearances (...)
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  38. Darrell P. Rowbottom & Peter Baumann (2009). To Thine Own Self Be Untrue: A Diagnosis of the Cable Guy Paradox. Logique Et Analyse 51 (204):355-364.
    Hájek has recently presented the following paradox. You are certain that a cable guy will visit you tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. but you have no further information about when. And you agree to a bet on whether he will come in the morning interval (8, 12] or in the afternoon interval (12, 4). At first, you have no reason to prefer one possibility rather than the other. But you soon realise that there will definitely be a future (...)
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  39. Frederic Schick (2000). Surprise, Self-Knowledge, and Commonality. Journal of Philosophy 97 (8):440 - 453.
  40. Alex Voorhoeve, Ken Binmore & Lisa Stewart (2012). How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences Between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45 (3):215-38.
    Experimental results on the Ellsberg paradox typically reveal behavior that is commonly interpreted as ambiguity aversion. The experiments reported in the current paper find the objective probabilities for drawing a red ball that make subjects indifferent between various risky and uncertain Ellsberg bets. They allow us to examine the predictive power of alternative principles of choice under uncertainty, including the objective maximin and Hurwicz criteria, the sure-thing principle, and the principle of insufficient reason. Contrary to our expectations, the principle of (...)
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