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  1. Matthew D. Adler, Bounded Rationality and Legal Scholarship.
    Decision theory seems to offer a very attractive normative framework for individual and social choice under uncertainty. The decisionmaker should think of her choice situation, at any given moment, in terms of a set of possible outcomes, that is, specifications of the possible consequences of choice, described in light of the decisionmaker's goals; a set of possible actions; and a "state set" consisting of possible prior "states of the world." It is this framework for choice which provides the foundation for (...)
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  2. George Ainslie (2005). Précis of Breakdown of Will. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):635-650.
    Behavioral science has long been puzzled by the experience of temptation, the resulting impulsiveness, and the variably successful control of this impulsiveness. In conventional theories, a governing faculty like the ego evaluates future choices consistently over time, discounting their value for delay exponentially, that is, by a constant rate; impulses arise when this ego is confronted by a conditioned appetite. Breakdown of Will presents evidence that contradicts this model. Both people and nonhuman animals spontaneously discount the value of expected events (...)
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  3. Ronald J. Allen (2001). Artificial Intelligence and the Evidentiary Process: The Challenges of Formalism and Computation. [REVIEW] Artificial Intelligence and Law 9 (2-3):99-114.
    The tension between rule and judgment is well known with respect to the meaning of substantive legal commands. The same conflict is present in fact finding. The law penetrates to virtually all aspects of human affairs; irtually any interaction can generate a legal conflict. Accurate fact finding about such disputes is a necessary condition for the appropriate application of substantive legal commands. Without accuracy in fact finding, the law is unpredictable, and thus individuals cannot efficiently accommodate their affairs to its (...)
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  4. 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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  5. Brad Armendt (2013). On Risk and Rationality. 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) calibration theorem strongly suggests that (...)
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  6. Brad Armendt (1986). A Foundation for Causal Decision Theory. Topoi 5 (1):3-19.
    The primary aim of this paper is the presentation of a foundation for causal decision theory. This is worth doing because causal decision theory (CDT) is philosophically the most adequate rational decision theory now available. I will not defend that claim here by elaborate comparison of the theory with all its competitors, but by providing the foundation. This puts the theory on an equal footing with competitors for which foundations have already been given. It turns out that it will also (...)
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  7. Maria Bagassi & Laura Macchi (2006). Pragmatic Approach to Decision Making Under Uncertainty: The Case of the Disjunction Effect. Thinking and Reasoning 12 (3):329 – 350.
    The disjunction effect (Tversky & Shafir, 1992) occurs when decision makers prefer option x (versus y) when knowing that event A occurs and also when knowing that event A does not occur, but they refuse x (or prefer y) when not knowing whether or not A occurs. This form of incoherence violates Savage's (1954) sure-thing principle, one of the basic axioms of the rational theory of decision making. The phenomenon was attributed to a lack of clear reasons for accepting an (...)
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  8. Pat Barclay & Martin Daly (2003). Humans Should Be Individualistic and Utility-Maximizing, but Not Necessarily “Rational”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):154-155.
    One reason why humans don't behave according to standard game theoretical rationality is because it's not realistic to assume that everyone else is behaving rationally. An individual is expected to have psychological mechanisms that function to maximize his/her long-term payoffs in a world of potentially “irrational” individuals. Psychological decision theory has to be individualistic because individuals make decisions, not groups.
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  9. Robert Bass, Maximizing, Satisficing and the Normative Distinction Between Means and Ends.
    Decision theory, understood as providing a normative account of rationality in action, is often thought to be an adequate formalization of instrumental reasoning. As a model, there is much to be said for it. However, if decision theory is to adequately account for correct instrumental reasoning, then the axiomatic conditions by which it links preference to action must be normative for choice. That is, a choice must be rationally defective unless it proceeds from a preference set that satisfies the axiomatic (...)
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  10. Giacomo Bonanno (2002). Modal Logic and Game Theory: Two Alternative Approaches. Risk Decision and Policy 7:309-324.
    Two views of game theory are discussed: (1) game theory as a description of the behavior of rational individuals who recognize each other’s rationality and reasoning abilities, and (2) game theory as an internally consistent recommendation to individuals on how to act in interactive situations. It is shown that the same mathematical tool, namely modal logic, can be used to explicitly model both views.
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  11. Lisa Bortolotti (2011). Does Reflection Lead to Wise Choices? Philosophical Explorations 14 (3):297-313.
    Does conscious reflection lead to good decision-making? Whereas engaging in reflection is traditionally thought to be the best way to make wise choices, recent psychological evidence undermines the role of reflection in lay and expert judgement. The literature suggests that thinking about reasons does not improve the choices people make, and that experts do not engage in reflection, but base their judgements on intuition, often shaped by extensive previous experience. Can we square the traditional accounts of wisdom with the results (...)
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  12. Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Decision Theory. In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan Hajek (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press
    Decision theory has at its core a set of mathematical theorems that connect rational preferences to functions with certain structural properties. The components of these theorems, as well as their bearing on questions surrounding rationality, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Philosophy’s current interest in decision theory represents a convergence of two very different lines of thought, one concerned with the question of how one ought to act, and the other concerned with the question of what action consists (...)
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  13. Lara Buchak (2016). Revisiting Risk and Rationality: A Reply to Pettigrew and Briggs. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):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 not succeed and that my original (...)
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  14. Lara Buchak (2014). Risk and Tradeoffs. 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 weight that each outcome gets in decision-making is not the subjective probability (...)
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  15. Lara Buchak (2013). Risk and Rationality. OUP Oxford.
    Lara Buchak sets out a new account of rational decision-making in the face of risk. She argues that the orthodox view is too narrow, and suggests an alternative, more permissive theory: one that allows individuals to pay attention to the worst-case or best-case scenario, and vindicates the ordinary decision-maker.
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  16. David E. Buschena & David Zilberman (1999). Testing the Effects of Similarity on Risky Choice: Implications for Violations of Expected Utility. Theory and Decision 46 (3):253-280.
    Our aim in this paper was to establish an empirical evaluation for similarity effects modeled by Rubinstein; Azipurua et al.; Leland; and Sileo. These tests are conducted through a sensitivity analysis of two well-known examples of expected utility (EU) independence violations. We found that subjective similarity reported by respondents was explained very well by objective measures suggested in the similarity literature. The empirical results of this analysis also show that: (1) the likelihood of selection for the riskier choice increases as (...)
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  17. Krister Bykvist (2007). Satisficing and Maximizing: Moral Theorists on Practical Reason, Edited by Michael Byron. Cambridge University Press, 2004, 245 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 23 (2):240-245.
  18. Mark Colyvan (2009). Naturalising Normativity. In David Braddon-Mitchell & Robert Nola (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism. MIT Press
    In this paper I discuss the problem of providing an account of the normative force of theories of rationality. The theories considered are theories of rational inference, rational belief and rational decision— logic, probability theory and decision theory, respectively. I provide a naturalistic account of the normativity of these theories that is not viciously circular. The account offered does have its limitations though: it delivers a defeasible account of rationality. On this view, theories of rational inference, belief and decision are (...)
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  19. Horacio Arlo Costa & Jeffrey Helzner, Iterated Random Selection as Intermediate Between Risk and Uncertainty. ISIPTA'09 ELECTRONIC PROCEEDINGS.
  20. R. Dacey (2003). The s-Shaped Utility Function. Synthese 135 (2):243 - 272.
    The results generated by experimentalists in psychology and economics haveled to numerous advances in the study of human decision making under risk.Camerer (1995) and Rabin (1998) provide excellent reviews of the relevantliterature. These results clearly display the gap between normative theoriesof ideal behavior and descriptive theories of observed behavior. The mostprominent result is loss aversion – the observation that a loss is given greatervalue than a gain of an equal size – and the resulting S-shaped utility function.Rabin puts the key (...)
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  21. Paul Davidson (1991). Is Probability Theory Relevant for Uncertainty? A Post Keynesian Perspective. Journal of Economic Perspectives 5:129--144.
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  22. Michel Denuit, Claude Lefèvre & Marco Scarsini (2001). On S-Convexity and Risk Aversion. Theory and Decision 50 (3):239-248.
    The present note first discusses the concept of s-convex pain functions in decision theory. Then, the economic behavior of an agent with such a pain function is represented through the comparison of some recursive lotteries.
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  23. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Reason-Based Rationalization.
    [This version of the paper has been superseded by "Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework", forthcoming in Economics & Philosophy.] -/- 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, (...)
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  24. Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). Where Do Preferences Come From? International Journal of Game Theory 42 (3):613-637.
    Rational choice theory analyzes how an agent can rationally act, given his or her preferences, but says little about where those preferences come from. Preferences are usually assumed to be fixed and exogenously given. Building on related work on reasons and rational choice, we describe a framework for conceptualizing preference formation and preference change. In our model, an agent's preferences are based on certain "motivationally salient" properties of the alternatives over which the preferences are held. Preferences may change as new (...)
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  25. Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). A Reason-Based Theory of Rational Choice. Noûs 47 (1):104-134.
    There is a surprising disconnect between formal rational choice theory and philosophical work on reasons. The one is silent on the role of reasons in rational choices, the other rarely engages with the formal models of decision problems used by social scientists. To bridge this gap, we propose a new, reason-based theory of rational choice. At its core is an account of preference formation, according to which an agent’s preferences are determined by his or her motivating reasons, together with a (...)
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  26. Anna-Maria A. Eder (2011). Decision Theory and Rationality. [REVIEW] International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):326-329.
  27. Roger Frantz & Leslie Marsh (eds.) (forthcoming). MINDS, MODELS AND MILIEUX: COMMEMORATING THE CENTENNIAL OF THE BIRTH OF HERBERT SIMON. Palgrave Macmillan.
  28. Christopher F. French (2015). Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering: Inductive Logic in Rudolf Carnap's Scientific Philosophy. Dissertation, University of British Columbia
  29. Milton Friedman (1953). Essays in Positive Economics. University of Chicago Press.
    There is not, of course, a one-to-one relation between policy conclusions and the conclusions of positive economics; if there were, there would be no ...
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  30. Milton Friedman (1953). The Methodology of Positive Economics. In Essays in Positive Economics. University of Chicago Press 3-43.
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  31. Gary Goh, We Are Optimizers: Re-Opening the Case for Rational Genuine Satisficing.
    This paper critically reviews the arguments supporting rational genuine satisficing. The deconstructive effort unearths inherent problems with the position in both static and dynamic contexts. Many of these arguments build on Herbert Simon’s canonical arguments surrounding incommensurability and demandingness problems. Optimizing is re-constructed using the principles of instrumental satisficing to answer these charges. The resulting conception is both obviously undemanding and a recognizable response to focused decision making.
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  32. D. Wade Hands (2013). Foundations of Contemporary Revealed Preference Theory. Erkenntnis 78 (5):1081-1108.
    This paper examines methodological issues raised by revealed preference theory in economics: particularly contemporary revealed preference theory. The paper has three goals. First, to make the case that revealed preference theory is a broad research program in choice theory—not a single theory—and understanding this diversity is essential to any methodological analysis of the program. Second, to explore some of the existing criticisms of revealed preference theory in a way that emphasizes how the effectiveness of the critique depends on the particular (...)
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  33. D. Wade Hands (2008). Introspection, Revealed Preference and Neoclassical Economics: A Critical Response to Don Ross on the Robbins-Samuelson Argument Pattern. Journal of the History of Economic Thought 30:1-26.
    Abstract: Don Ross’ Economic Theory and Cognitive Science (2005) provides an elaborate philosophical defense of neoclassical economics. He argues that the central features of neoclassical theory are associated with what he calls the Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern and that it can be reconciled with recent developments in experimental and behavioral economics, as well as contemporary cognitive science. This paper argues that Ross’ Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern is not in the work of either Robbins or Samuelson and in many ways is in conflict (...)
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  34. D. Wade Hands (1991). Popper, the Rationality Principle and Economic Explanation. In G. K. Shaw (ed.), Economics, Culture, and Education: Essays in Honor of Mark Blaug. Edward Elgar 108-119.
  35. Sven Ove Hansson, Decision Theory.
    This text is a non-technical overview of modern decision theory. It is intended for university students with no previous acquaintance with the subject, and was primarily written for the participants of a course on risk analysis at Uppsala University in 1994.
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  36. Daniel M. Hausman (1992). Essays on Philosophy and Economic Methodology. Cambridge University Press.
    This collection brings together the essays of one of the foremost American philosophers of economics. Cumulatively they offer fresh perspectives on foundational questions such as: what sort of science is economics? and how successful can economists be in acquiring knowledge of their subject matter?
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  37. Jeffrey Helzner (2009). On the Application of Multiattribute Utility Theory to Models of Choice. Theory and Decision 66 (4):301-315.
    Ellsberg (The Quarterly Journal of Economics 75, 643–669 (1961); Risk, Ambiguity and Decision, Garland Publishing (2001)) argued that uncertainty is not reducible to risk. At the center of Ellsberg’s argument lies a thought experiment that has come to be known as the three-color example. It has been observed that a significant number of sophisticated decision makers violate the requirements of subjective expected utility theory when they are confronted with Ellsberg’s three-color example. More generally, such decision makers are in conflict with (...)
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  38. Tamara Horowitz (2005). The Epistemology of a Priori Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    This volume collects four published articles by the late Tamara Horowitz and two unpublished papers on decision theory: "Making Rational Decisions When Preferences Cycle" and the monograph-length "The Backtracking Fallacy." An introduction is provided by editor Joseph Camp. Horowitz preferred to recognize the diversity of rationality, both practical and theoretical rationality. She resisted the temptation to accept simple theories of rationality that are quick to characterize ordinary reasoning as fallacious. This broadly humanist approach to philosophy is exemplified by the articles (...)
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  39. Steven J. Humphrey (1999). Probability Learning, Event-Splitting Effects and the Economic Theory of Choice. Theory and Decision 46 (1):51-78.
    This paper reports an experiment which investigates a possible cognitive antecedent of event-splitting effects (ESEs) experimentally observed by Starmer and Sugden (1993) and Humphrey (1995) – the learning of absolute frequency of event category impacting on the learning of probability of event category – and reveals some evidence that it is responsible for observed ESEs. It is also suggested and empirically substantiated that stripped-down prospect theory will accurately predict ESEs in some decision making tasks, but will not perform well in (...)
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  40. Joseph G. Johnson & Jerome R. Busemeyer (2001). Multiple-Stage Decision-Making: The Effect of Planning Horizon Length on Dynamic Consistency. Theory and Decision 51 (2/4):217-246.
    Many decisions involve multiple stages of choices and events, and these decisions can be represented graphically as decision trees. Optimal decision strategies for decision trees are commonly determined by a backward induction analysis that demands adherence to three fundamental consistency principles: dynamic, consequential, and strategic. Previous research found that decision-makers tend to exhibit violations of dynamic and strategic consistency at rates significantly higher than choice inconsistency across various levels of potential reward. The current research extends these findings under new conditions; (...)
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  41. Brian Kim (2014). The Locality and Globality of Instrumental Rationality: The Normative Significance of Preference Reversals. Synthese 191 (18):4353-4376.
    When we ask a decision maker to express her preferences, it is typically assumed that we are eliciting a pre-existing set of preferences. However, empirical research has suggested that our preferences are often constructed on the fly for the decision problem at hand. This paper explores the ramifications of this empirical research for our understanding of instrumental rationality. First, I argue that these results pose serious challenges for the traditional decision-theoretic view of instrumental rationality, which demands global coherence amongst all (...)
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  42. Matthew Kotzen (2010). Review of Decision Theory and Rationality by José Luis Bermúdez. [REVIEW] Philosophical Books 51 (1):53-62.
  43. Isaac Levi (1982). Ignorance, Probability and Rational Choice. Synthese 53 (3):387-417.
  44. Patrick Maher & Yoshihisa Kashima (1991). On The Descriptive Adequacy of Levi's Decision Theory. Economics and Philosophy 7 (1):93-100.
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  45. Mauro Maldonato (2007). Undecidable Decisions: Rationality Limits and Decision-Making Heuristics. World Futures 63 (1):28 – 37.
    In this article the theoretic evolution and the empirical-experimental efforts that have led to the affirmation of the bounded/procedural rationality paradigm are discussed. Moreover, the debate on supporters of the "optimization" approach and supporters of the "bounded/procedural rationality" approach is traced, highlighting the irreconcilability of these two approaches and, in retort, a solid defense against a merely "reductionist" attempt of the innovative context of the Simonian theory. Critically going over the debate on decision dynamics, it becomes clear how, due to (...)
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  46. Rachel McKinnon (2015). Trans*Formative Experiences. Res Philosophica 92 (2):419-440.
    What happens when we consider transformative experiences from the perspective of gender transitions? In this paper I suggest that at least two insights emerge. First, trans* persons’ experiences of gender transitions show some limitations to L.A. Paul’s (forthcoming) decision theoretic account of transformative decisions. This will involve exploring some of the phenomenology of coming to know that one is trans, and in coming to decide to transition. Second, what epistemological effects are there to undergoing a transformative experience? By connecting some (...)
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  47. Christopher J. G. Meacham & Jonathan Weisberg (2011). Representation Theorems and the Foundations of Decision Theory. 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 a result, we (...)
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  48. Thaddeus Metz (2014). Just the Beginning for Ubuntu: Reply to Matolino and Kwindingwi. South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):65-72.
    In an article titled ‘The end of ubuntu’ recently published in this journal, Bernard Matolino and Wenceslaus Kwindingwi argue that contemporary conditions in (South) Africa are such that there is no justification for appealing to an ethic associated with talk of ‘ubuntu’. They argue that political elites who invoke ubuntu do so in ways that serve nefarious functions, such as unreasonably narrowing discourse about how best to live, while the moral ideals of ubuntu are appropriate only for a bygone, pre-modern (...)
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  49. Alex C. Michalos (1970). Cost-Benefit Versus Expected Utility Acceptance Rules. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1970 (1):375-402.
    A rule for the acceptance of scientific hypotheses called 'the principle of cost-benefit dominance' is shown to be more effective and efficient than the well-known principle of the maximization of expected utility. Harvey 's defense of his theory of the circulation of blood in animals is examined as a historical paradigm case of a successful defense of a scientific hypothesis and as an implicit application of the cost-benefit dominance rule advocated here. Finally, various concepts of 'dominance' are considered by means (...)
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  50. Philippe Mongin (2004). Does Optimization Imply Rationality? Synthese 124 (1):73-111.
    ABSTRACT. The relations between rationality and optimization have been widely discussed in the wake of Herbert Simon’s work, with the common conclusion that the rationality concept does not imply the optimization principle. The paper is partly concerned with adding evidence for this view, but its main, more challenging objective is to question the converse implication from optimization to rationality, which is accepted even by bounded rationality theorists. We discuss three topics in succession: (1) rationally defensible cyclical choices, (2) the revealed (...)
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