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Decision Theory

Edited by Rachael Briggs (Australian National University)
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Subcategories:History/traditions: Decision Theory
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  1. A. (1992). Risk and Public Decision-Making. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 7 (2):53-56.
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  2. A. R. A. (1957). Decision Making. Review of Metaphysics 11 (2):355-355.
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  3. A. Abatemarco (2010). A Physicist's Approach to Phase Controlling Chaotic Economic Models / F. T. Arecchi, R. Meucci, F. Salvadori, D. Acampora, K. Al Naimee ; Part V: Related Issues: A Note on Complaints and Deprivation. [REVIEW] In Marisa Faggini, Concetto Paolo Vinci, Antonio Abatemarco, Rossella Aiello, F. T. Arecchi, Lucio Biggiero, Giovanna Bimonte, Sergio Bruno, Carl Chiarella, Maria Pia Di Gregorio, Giacomo Di Tollo, Simone Giansante, Jaime Gil Aluja, A. I͡U Khrennikov, Marianna Lyra, Riccardo Meucci, Guglielmo Monaco, Giancarlo Nota, Serena Sordi, Pietro Terna, Kumaraswamy Velupillai & Alessandro Vercelli (eds.), Decision Theory and Choices: A Complexity Approach. Springer Verlag Italia.
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  4. Diedrik Aerts & Sven Aerts (1995). Applications of Quantum Statistics in Psychological Studies of Decision Processes. Foundations of Science 1 (1):85-97.
    We present a new approach to the old problem of how to incorporate the role of the observer in statistics. We show classical probability theory to be inadequate for this task and take refuge in the epsilon-model, which is the only model known to us caapble of handling situations between quantum and classical statistics. An example is worked out and some problems are discussed as to the new viewpoint that emanates from our approach.
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  5. Paul Anand (2008). Rationality and Intransitive Preference. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 22:5-15.
    “Radical The paper provides a survey of arguments for claims that rational agents should have transitive preferences and argues that they are not valid. The presentation is based on a chapter for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Rational and Social Choice.
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  6. Paul Anand (2005). Bayes's Theorem (Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol. 113), Edited by Richard Swinburne, Oxford University Press, 2002, 160 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):139-142.
  7. F. T. Arecchi (2010). Part I: General Issues: Coherence, Complexity and Creativity: The Dynamics of Decision Making. In Marisa Faggini, Concetto Paolo Vinci, Antonio Abatemarco, Rossella Aiello, F. T. Arecchi, Lucio Biggiero, Giovanna Bimonte, Sergio Bruno, Carl Chiarella, Maria Pia Di Gregorio, Giacomo Di Tollo, Simone Giansante, Jaime Gil Aluja, A. I͡U Khrennikov, Marianna Lyra, Riccardo Meucci, Guglielmo Monaco, Giancarlo Nota, Serena Sordi, Pietro Terna, Kumaraswamy Velupillai & Alessandro Vercelli (eds.), Decision Theory and Choices: A Complexity Approach. Springer Verlag Italia.
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  8. J. L. Bermudez (2013). Prisoner's Dilemma and Newcomb's Problem: Why Lewis's Argument Fails. Analysis 73 (3):423-429.
    According to David Lewis, the prisoner's dilemma (PD) and Newcomb's problem (NP) are really just one dilemma in two different forms (Lewis 1979). Lewis's argument for this conclusion is ingenious and has been widely accepted. However, it is flawed. As this paper shows, the considerations that Lewis brings to bear to show that the game he starts with is an NP equally show that the game is not a PD.
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  9. Gregor Betz (2010). What’s the Worst Case? The Methodology of Possibilistic Prediction. Analyse and Kritik 32 (1):87-106.
    Frank Knight (1921) famously distinguished the epistemic modes of certainty, risk, and uncertainty in order to characterize situations where deterministic, probabilistic or possibilistic foreknowledge is available. Because our probabilistic knowledge is limited, i.e. because many systems, e.g. the global climate, cannot be described and predicted probabilistically in a reliable way, Knight's third category, possibilistic foreknowledge, is not simply swept by the probabilistic mode. This raises the question how to justify possibilistic predictionsincluding the identication of the worst case. The development of (...)
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  10. Aditi Bhattacharyya, Prasanta K. Pattanaik & Yongsheng Xu (2011). Choice, Internal Consistency and Rationality. Economics and Philosophy 27 (2):123-149.
  11. L. Biggiero (2010). Exploration Modes and its Impact on Industry Profitability. In Marisa Faggini, Concetto Paolo Vinci, Antonio Abatemarco, Rossella Aiello, F. T. Arecchi, Lucio Biggiero, Giovanna Bimonte, Sergio Bruno, Carl Chiarella, Maria Pia Di Gregorio, Giacomo Di Tollo, Simone Giansante, Jaime Gil Aluja, A. I͡U Khrennikov, Marianna Lyra, Riccardo Meucci, Guglielmo Monaco, Giancarlo Nota, Serena Sordi, Pietro Terna, Kumaraswamy Velupillai & Alessandro Vercelli (eds.), Decision Theory and Choices: A Complexity Approach. Springer Verlag Italia. 83--115.
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  12. G. Bimonte (2010). Predictability of SOC Systems. Technological Extreme Events. In Marisa Faggini, Concetto Paolo Vinci, Antonio Abatemarco, Rossella Aiello, F. T. Arecchi, Lucio Biggiero, Giovanna Bimonte, Sergio Bruno, Carl Chiarella, Maria Pia Di Gregorio, Giacomo Di Tollo, Simone Giansante, Jaime Gil Aluja, A. I͡U Khrennikov, Marianna Lyra, Riccardo Meucci, Guglielmo Monaco, Giancarlo Nota, Serena Sordi, Pietro Terna, Kumaraswamy Velupillai & Alessandro Vercelli (eds.), Decision Theory and Choices: A Complexity Approach. Springer Verlag Italia. 221--234.
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  13. Luc Bovens & Marc Fleurbaey (2012). Evaluating Life or Death Prospects. Economics and Philosophy 28 (2):217-249.
    We consider a special set of risky prospects in which the outcomes are either life or death (or, more generally, binary utilities). There are various alternatives to the utilitarian objective of minimizing the expected loss of lives in such prospects. We start off with the two-person case with independent risks and construct taxonomies of ex ante and ex post evaluations for such prospects. We examine the relationship between the ex ante and the ex post in this restrictive framework: There are (...)
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  14. John Broome (1992). Review of Hard Choices. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 8:169-176.
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  15. Marco Castellani (2013). Alfred Schutz and Herbert Simon: Can Their Action Theories Work Together? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (4):383-404.
    This paper combines Alfred Shultz and Herbert Simon's theories of action in order to understand the grey area between dynamic and completely unstructured decision making better. As a result I have put together a specific scheme of how choice elements are represented from an agent's personal experience, so as to create a bridge between the phenomenological and cognitive-procedural approaches of decision making. I first look at the key points of their original models relating Alfred Schutz's “provinces of meaning” and Herbert (...)
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  16. Hsiang‐Ke Chao (2007). A Structure of the Consumption Function. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (2):227-248.
    It is claimed in the structural realism in philosophy of science that scientists aim to preserve the true structure, represented by the equations in their models. We reinterpret structural realism as a doctrine involving representation. Proving the existence of a representation theorem secures the problem of lacking independent criteria for identification between structure and non?structure. This paper argues that a similar realist view of structure can be found in the theory of consumption in which the Fisherian framework of intertemporal choices (...)
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  17. Mikaël Cozic (2011). Non-Bayesian Decision Theory. Beliefs and Desires as Reasons for Action, Martin Peterson. Theory and Decision Library, Springer, 2008. Ix + 170 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 27 (1):53-59.
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  18. Carl F. Craver & Anna Alexandrova (2008). No Revolution Necessary: Neural Mechanisms for Economics. Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):381-406.
    We argue that neuroeconomics should be a mechanistic science. We defend this view as preferable both to a revolutionary perspective, according to which classical economics is eliminated in favour of neuroeconomics, and to a classical economic perspective, according to which economics is insulated from facts about psychology and neuroscience. We argue that, like other mechanistic sciences, neuroeconomics will earn its keep to the extent that it either reconfigures how economists think about decision-making or how neuroscientists think about brain mechanisms underlying (...)
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  19. Donald Davidson & Patrick Suppes (1957). Decision Making: An Experimental Approach. Stanford University Press.
    PREVIOUS WORK Theoretical discussion of the interval measurement of utility based upon theories of decision making under conditions of risk has been voluminous and will not be reviewed here. Those interested will find extensive ...
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  20. John Davis & Wade Hands (2013). Introduction: Methodology, Systemic Risk, and the Economics Profession. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (1):1 - 5.
    (2013). Introduction: Methodology, systemic risk, and the economics profession. Journal of Economic Methodology: Vol. 20, Methodology, Systemic Risk, and the Economics Profession, pp. 1-5. doi: 10.1080/1350178X.2013.774842.
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  21. Jelle de Boer (2012). A Strawson–Lewis Defence of Social Preferences. Economics and Philosophy 28 (3):291-310.
    This paper examines a special kind of social preference, namely a preference to do one's part in a mixed-motive setting because the other party expects one to do so. I understand this expectation-based preference as a basic reactive attitude (Strawson 1974). Given this, and the fact that expectations in these circumstances are likely to be based on other people's preferences, I argue that in cooperation a special kind of equilibrium ensues, which I call a loop, with people's preferences and expectations (...)
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  22. Igor Douven & Jan-Willem Romeijn (2007). The Discursive Dilemma as a Lottery Paradox. Economics and Philosophy 23 (3):301-319.
    List and Pettit have stated an impossibility theorem about the aggregation of individual opinion states. Building on recent work on the lottery paradox, this paper offers a variation on that result. The present result places different constraints on the voting agenda and the domain of profiles, but it covers a larger class of voting rules, which need not satisfy the proposition-wise independence of votes.
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  23. David Estlund (1996). Democracy & Decision: The Pure Theory of Electoral Preference, Geoffery Brennan and Loren Lomasky. Cambridge University Press, 1993, 225 + X Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 12 (01):113-.
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  24. Marisa Faggini, Concetto Paolo Vinci, Antonio Abatemarco, Rossella Aiello, F. T. Arecchi, Lucio Biggiero, Giovanna Bimonte, Sergio Bruno, Carl Chiarella, Maria Pia Di Gregorio, Giacomo Di Tollo, Simone Giansante, Jaime Gil Aluja, A. I͡U Khrennikov, Marianna Lyra, Riccardo Meucci, Guglielmo Monaco, Giancarlo Nota, Serena Sordi, Pietro Terna, Kumaraswamy Velupillai & Alessandro Vercelli (eds.) (2010). Decision Theory and Choices: A Complexity Approach. Springer Verlag Italia.
    The New Economic Windows Series, derived from Massimo Salzano's ideas and work, incorporates material from textbooks, monographs and conference proceedings that deals with both the theoretical and applied aspects of various sub-disciplines ...
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  25. José Luis Ferreira & Jesús Zamora-bonilla (2006). An Economic Model of Scientific Rules. Economics and Philosophy 22 (2):191-212.
    Empirical reports on scientific competition show that scientists can be depicted as self-interested, strategically behaving agents. Nevertheless, we argue that recognition-seeking scientists will have an interest in establishing methodological norms which tend to select theories of a high epistemic value, and that these norms will be still more stringent if the epistemic value of theories appears in the utility function of scientists, either directly or instrumentally. (Published Online July 11 2006) Footnotes1 The author gratefully acknowledges financial support from DGI grant (...)
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  26. Eduardo Giannetti Fonsecdaa (1991). Beliefs in Action: Economic Philosophy and Social Change. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is concerned with the role of economic philosophy ("ideas") in the processes of belief-formation and social change. Its aim is to further our understanding of the behavior of the individual economic agent by bringing to light and examining the function of non-rational dispositions and motivations ("passions") in the determination of the agent's beliefs and goals. Drawing on the work of David Hume and Adam Smith, the book spells out the particular ways in which the passions come to affect (...)
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  27. Roberto Fumagalli (2013). The Futile Search for True Utility. Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):325-347.
    In traditional decision theory, utility is regarded as a mathematical representation of preferences to be inferred from agents hedonic experiences. Some go as far as to contend that utility is literally computed by specific neural areas and urge economists to complement or substitute their notion of utility with some neuro-psychological construct. In this paper, I distinguish three notions of utility that are frequently mentioned in debates about decision theory and examine some critical issues regarding their definition and measurability. Moreover, I (...)
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  28. J. Gil-Aluja, A. M. Gil-Lafuente & J. Gil-Lafuente (2010). Financial Fragility and Interacting Units: An Exercise / C. Chiarella, S. Giansante, S. Sordi, A. Vercelli ; Part III: Techniques and Tools: Using Homogeneous Groupings in Portfolio Management. [REVIEW] In Marisa Faggini, Concetto Paolo Vinci, Antonio Abatemarco, Rossella Aiello, F. T. Arecchi, Lucio Biggiero, Giovanna Bimonte, Sergio Bruno, Carl Chiarella, Maria Pia Di Gregorio, Giacomo Di Tollo, Simone Giansante, Jaime Gil Aluja, A. I͡U Khrennikov, Marianna Lyra, Riccardo Meucci, Guglielmo Monaco, Giancarlo Nota, Serena Sordi, Pietro Terna, Kumaraswamy Velupillai & Alessandro Vercelli (eds.), Decision Theory and Choices: A Complexity Approach. Springer Verlag Italia.
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  29. Itzhak Gilboa, Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler (2009). Is It Always Rational to Satisfy Savage's Axioms? Economics and Philosophy 25 (3):285-296.
    This note argues that, under some circumstances, it is more rational not to behave in accordance with a Bayesian prior than to do so. The starting point is that in the absence of information, choosing a prior is arbitrary. If the prior is to have meaningful implications, it is more rational to admit that one does not have sufficient information to generate a prior than to pretend that one does. This suggests a view of rationality that requires a compromise between (...)
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  30. Natalie Gold & Christian List (2004). Framing as Path Dependence. Economics and Philosophy 20 (2):253-277.
    A framing effect occurs when an agent's choices are not invariant under changes in the way a decision problem is presented, e.g. changes in the way options are described (violation of description invariance) or preferences are elicited (violation of procedure invariance). Here we identify those rationality violations that underlie framing effects. We attribute to the agent a sequential decision process in which a “target” proposition and several “background” propositions are considered. We suggest that the agent exhibits a framing effect if (...)
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  31. Michael A. Goodrich, Wynn C. Stirling & Erwin R. Boer (2000). Satisficing Revisited. Minds and Machines 10 (1):79-109.
    In the debate between simple inference heuristics and complex decision mechanisms, we take a position squarely in the middle. A decision making process that extends to both naturalistic and novel settings should extend beyond the confines of this debate; both simple heuristics and complex mechanisms are cognitive skills adapted to and appropriate for some circumstances but not for others. Rather than ask `Which skill is better?'' it is often more important to ask `When is a skill justified?'' The selection and (...)
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  32. Francesco Guala (2000). The Logic of Normative Falsification: Rationality and Experiments in Decision Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (1):59-93.
    The paper investigates how normative considerations influenced the development of the theory of individual decision-making under risk. In the first part, the debate between Maurice Allais and the 'Neo-Bernoullians' (supporting the Expected Utility model) is reconstructed, in order to show that a controversy on the definition of rational decision and on the methodology of normative justification played a crucial role in legitimizing the Allais-paradox as genuinely refuting evidence. In the second part, it is shown how informal notions of rationality were (...)
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  33. Benoit Hardy-Vallee (2007). Decision-Making: A Neuroeconomic Perspective. Philosophy Compass 2 (6):939-953.
    This article introduces and discusses from a philosophical point of view the nascent field of neuroeconomics, which is the study of neural mechanisms involved in decision-making and their economic significance. Following a survey of the ways in which decision-making is usually construed in philosophy, economics and psychology, I review many important findings in neuroeconomics to show that they suggest a revised picture of decision-making and ourselves as choosing agents. Finally, I outline a neuroeconomic account of irrationality.
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  34. D. W. Haslett (1990). What is Utility? Economics and Philosophy 6 (01):65-.
    Social scientists could learn some useful things from philosophy. Here I shall discuss what I take to be one such thing: a better understanding of the concept of utility. There are several reasons why a better understanding may be useful. First, this concept is commonly found in the writings of social scientists, especially economists (see, for example, Sen and Williams, 1982). Second, utility is the main ingredient in utilitarianism, a perspective on morality that, traditionally, has been very influential among social (...)
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  35. Daniel M. Hausman (2005). Sympathy, Commitment, and Preference. Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):33-50.
    While very much in Sen's camp in rejecting revealed preference theory and emphasizing the complexity, incompleteness, and context dependence of preference and the intellectual costs of supposing that all the factors influencing choice can be captured by a single notion of preference, this essay contests his view that economists should recognize multiple notions of preference. It argues that Sen's concerns are better served by embracing a single conception of preference and insisting on the need for analysis of the multiple factors (...)
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  36. Richard Hudelson (1987). A Note on the Empirical Adequacy of the Expressive Theory of Voting Behavior. Economics and Philosophy 3 (01):127-.
    In their article, Geoffrey Brennan and Loren Lomasky (1985, p. 199) present an alternative to market theories of voting behavior. Contrary to market theories which view the voter as acting to maximize the expected self-interest, the alternative view sees voting as fundamentally an act of self-expression: “Voting, like speech, is an expressive activity providing an outlet for one's moral sentiments. We suggest that it is the expressive return to a vote that frequently determines the behavior of individuals in large-number electorates.”.
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  37. Joseph B. Kadane & Gaia Bellone (2009). De Finetti on Risk Aversion. Economics and Philosophy 25 (2):153-159.
    According to Mark Rubinstein (2006) The purpose of this note is to ascertain the extent to which this is true, and at the same time, to correct certain minor errors that appear in de Finetti's work.
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  38. G. Kavka (1994). Review of George Ainslie's Picoeconomics: The Strategic Interaction of Successive Motivational States Within the Person. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 10:333-338.
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  39. Gregory S. Kavka (1991). Is Individual Choice Less Problematic Than Collective Choice? Economics and Philosophy 7 (02):143-.
    It is commonplace to suppose that the theory of individual rational choice is considerably less problematic than the theory of collective rational choice. In particular, it is often assumed by philosophers, economists, and other social scientists that an individual's choices among outcomes (or lotteries yielding specified probabilities of outcomes) accurately reflect that individual's underlying preferences or values. Further, it is now well known that if an individual's choices among outcomes (or lotteries thereof) satisfy certain plausible axioms of rationality or consistency, (...)
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  40. A. Khrennikov (2010). Thermodynamic-Like Approach to Complexity of the Financial Market (in the Light of the Present Financial Crises). In Marisa Faggini, Concetto Paolo Vinci, Antonio Abatemarco, Rossella Aiello, F. T. Arecchi, Lucio Biggiero, Giovanna Bimonte, Sergio Bruno, Carl Chiarella, Maria Pia Di Gregorio, Giacomo Di Tollo, Simone Giansante, Jaime Gil Aluja, A. I͡U Khrennikov, Marianna Lyra, Riccardo Meucci, Guglielmo Monaco, Giancarlo Nota, Serena Sordi, Pietro Terna, Kumaraswamy Velupillai & Alessandro Vercelli (eds.), Decision Theory and Choices: A Complexity Approach. Springer Verlag Italia. 183--203.
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  41. Frederic Laville (2000). Foundations of Procedural Rationality: Cognitive Limits and Decision Processes. Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):117-138.
    Many criticisms have been made of optimization theory (Laville, 1999a). These objections may be explained by the fact that human rationality is bounded – that decisions are constrained by cognitive limitations (Simon, 1982). In the present paper, I will show that if rationality is bounded, then we must study the processes of decision. My thesis is that cognitive limitations lead to procedural rationality. Although this assertion has already been sustained implicitly by Simon (1959) and explicitly by Mongin (1986), it has (...)
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  42. Keith Lehrer (1987). Science, Morality and the Prisoner's Dilemma. Grazer Philosophische Studien 30:65-76.
    The problems that I address concern the morality and rationality of decisions with respect to the application and practice of science. Formally, the situation is a standard decision theoretic one in which one has a set of alternatives and a set of outcomes. The standard solution is to maximize expected utility. This formal simplicity conceals considerable philosophical complexity. The most obvious is — whose expected utility should we maximize? The second is — are there any moral constraints on what utility (...)
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  43. Keith Lehrer & Vann McGee (1991). An Epistemic Principle Which Solves Newcomb's Paradox. Grazer Philosophische Studien 40:197-217.
    If it is certain that performing an observation to determine whether P is true will in no way influence whether P is tme, then the proposition that the observation is performed ought to be probabilistically independent of P. Applying the notion of "observation" liberally, so that a wide variety of actions are treated as observations, this proposed new principle of belief revision yields the result that simple utihty maximization gives the correct solution to the Fisher smoking paradox and the two-box (...)
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  44. I. Levi (1991). On the Descriptive Adequacy of Levi Decision-Theory-Reply. Economics and Philosophy 7 (1):101-103.
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  45. Isaac Levi (1989). Reply to Maher. Economics and Philosophy 5 (01):79-.
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  46. Christian List & Franz Dietrich, Mentalism Versus Behaviourism in Economics: A Philosophy-of-Science Perspective.
    Behaviourism is the view that preferences, beliefs, and other mental states in social-scientific theories are nothing but constructs re-describing people's behavioural dispositions. Mentalism is the view that they capture real phenomena, no less existent than the unobservable entities and properties in the natural sciences, such as electrons and electromagnetic fields. While behaviourism has long gone out of fashion in psychology and linguistics, it remains influential in economics, especially in `revealed preference' theory. We aim to (i) clear up some common confusions (...)
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  47. Christian List & Philip Pettit (2002). Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result. Economics and Philosophy 18 (1):89-110.
    Suppose that the members of a group each hold a rational set of judgments on some interconnected questions, and imagine that the group itself has to form a collective, rational set of judgments on those questions. How should it go about dealing with this task? We argue that the question raised is subject to a difficulty that has recently been noticed in discussion of the doctrinal paradox in jurisprudence. And we show that there is a general impossibility theorem that that (...)
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  48. Pierre Livet (2006). Identities, Capabilities and Revisions. Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (3):327-348.
    The compatibility between freedom as possibility of change and continuity of personal identity is questionable. Change implies revisions. The tension between ensuring continuity of choice and evaluating a situation of choice that has been changed by these very revisions can be overcome by putting certain conditions on epistemic revision and preference revision. These conditions define a procedure leading to what I call a ?justified path of revision and action?. I will examine several examples in order to show how this procedure (...)
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  49. B. J. Loasby (2000). The Heart of Economics A Review of Uncertainty in Economic Thought, Edited by Christian Schmidt. Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (2):279-284.
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  50. Mark A. Lutz (1993). The Utility of Multiple Utility: A Comment on Brennan. Economics and Philosophy 9 (01):145-.
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