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  1. Arif Ahmed, Causal Decision Theory is False.
    Causal Decision Theory (CDT) cares only about the effects of a contemplated act, not its causes. The paper 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.
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  2. Horacio Arló-Costa, Social Norms, Rational Choice and Belief Change.
    This article elaborates on foundational issues in the social sciences and their impact on the contemporary theory of belief revision. Recent work in the foundations of economics has focused on the role external social norms play in choice. Amartya Sen has argued in [Sen93] that the traditional rationalizability approach used in the theory of rational choice has serious problems accommodating the role of social norms. Sen’s more recent work [Sen96, Sen97] proposes how one might represent social norms in the theory (...)
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  3. Frank Arntzenius & David McCarthy (1997). Self Torture and Group Beneficence. Erkenntnis 47 (1):129-144.
    Moral puzzles about actions which bring about very small or what are said to be imperceptible harms or benefits for each of a large number of people are well known. Less well known is an argument by Warren Quinn that standard theories of rationality can lead an agent to end up torturing himself or herself in a completely foreseeable way, and that this shows that standard theories of rationality need to be revised. We show where Quinn's argument goes wrong, and (...)
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  4. Robert Bass, Sunk Costs.
    Decision theorists generally object to “honoring sunk costs” – that is, treating the fact that some cost has been incurred in the past as a reason for action, apart from the consideration of expected consequences. This paper critiques the doctrine that sunk costs should never be honored on three levels. As background, the rationale for the doctrine is explained. Then it is shown that if it is always irrational to honor sunk costs, then other common and uncontroversial practices are also (...)
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  5. Giacomo Bonanno (1988). Can Good News Lead to a More Pessimistic Choice of Action? Theory and Decision 25 (2):123-136.
    Adapting a definition introduced by Milgrom (1981) we say that a signal about the environment is good news relative to some initial beliefs if the posterior beliefs dominate the initial beliefs in the sense of first-order stochastic dominance (the assumption being that higher values of the parameter representing the environment mean better environments). We give an example where good news leads to the adoption of a more pessimistic course of action (we say that action a, reveals greater pessimism than action (...)
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  6. Gianni Bosi (2002). Semicontinuous Representability of Homothetic Interval Orders by Means of Two Homogeneous Functionals. Theory and Decision 52 (4):303-312.
    It is well known that interval orders are particularly interesting in decision theory, since they are reflexive, complete and nontransitive binary relations which may be fully represented by means of two real-valued functions. In this paper, we discuss the existence of a pair of nonnegative, positively homogeneous and semicontinuous real-valued functionals representing an interval order on a real cone in a topological vector space. We recover as a particular case a result concerning the existence of a nonnegative, positively homogeneous and (...)
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  7. Darren Bradley (2013). Decision Theory, Philosophical Perspectives. In Hal Pashler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage.
    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 given. Finally the entry will briefly (...)
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  8. Richard Bradley (2007). The Kinematics of Belief and Desire. Synthese 156 (3):513-535.
    Richard Jeffrey regarded the version of Bayesian decision theory he floated in ‘The Logic of Decision’ and the idea of a probability kinematics—a generalisation of Bayesian conditioning to contexts in which the evidence is ‘uncertain’—as his two most important contributions to philosophy. This paper aims to connect them by developing kinematical models for the study of preference change and practical deliberation. Preference change is treated in a manner analogous to Jeffrey’s handling of belief change: not as mechanical outputs of combinations (...)
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  9. Lara Buchak (2009). Review of José Luis Bermúdez, Decision Theory and Rationality. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (9).
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  10. Alain Chateauneuf, Robert Kast & André Lapied (2001). Conditioning Capacities and Choquet Integrals: The Role of Comonotony. Theory and Decision 51 (2/4):367-386.
    Choquet integrals and capacities play a crucial role in modern decision theory. Comonotony is a central concept for these theories because the main property of a Choquet integral is its additivity for comonotone functions. We consider a Choquet integral representation of preferences showing uncertainty aversion (pessimism) and propose axioms on time consistency which yield a candidate for conditional Choquet integrals. An other axiom characterizes the role of comonotony in the use of information. We obtain two conditioning rules for capacities which (...)
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  11. Igor Douven (2002). Decision Theory and the Rationality of Further Deliberation. Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):303-328.
    Bayesian decision theory operates under the fiction that in any decision-making situation the agent is simply given the options from which he is to choose. It thereby sets aside some characteristics of the decision-making situation that are pre-analytically of vital concern to the verdict on the agent's eventual decision. In this paper it is shown that and how these characteristics can be accommodated within a still recognizably Bayesian account of rational agency.
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  12. Ben Eggleston (2010). Review of Martin Peterson, An Introduction to Decision Theory. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (1).
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  13. Alan Forrester (2007). Decision Theory and Information Propagation in Quantum Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (4):815-831.
    In recent papers, Zurek [(2005). Probabilities from entanglement, Born's rule pk=|ψk|2 from entanglement. Physical Review A, 71, 052105] has objected to the decision-theoretic approach of Deutsch [(1999) Quantum theory of probability and decisions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A, 455, 3129–3137] and Wallace [(2003). Everettian rationality: defending Deutsch's approach to probability in the Everett interpretation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 34, 415–438] to deriving the Born rule for quantum probabilities on the grounds that it courts (...)
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  14. Hilary Greaves (2007). Probability in the Everett Interpretation. Philosophy Compass 2 (1):109–128.
    The Everett (many-worlds) interpretation of quantum mechanics faces a prima facie problem concerning quantum probabilities. Research in this area has been fast-paced over the last few years, following a controversial suggestion by David Deutsch that decision theory can solve the problem. This article provides a non-technical introduction to the decision-theoretic program, and a sketch of the current state of the debate.
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  15. Hilary Greaves (2004). Understanding Deutsch's Probability in a Deterministic Universe. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3):423-456.
    Difficulties over probability have often been considered fatal to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. Here I argue that the Everettian can have everything she needs from `probability' without recourse to indeterminism, ignorance, primitive identity over time or subjective uncertainty: all she needs is a particular *rationality principle*. The decision-theoretic approach recently developed by Deutsch and Wallace claims to provide just such a principle. But, according to Wallace, decision theory is itself applicable only if the correct attitude to a future (...)
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  16. 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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  17. David Harrah (1963). A Model for Applying Information and Utility Functions. Philosophy of Science 30 (3):267-273.
    If the currently available theories of semantic information and utility-expectation are to be applied in a satisfactory way, they must be combined with a message-processing procedure. This paper presents a model of communication within which such a procedure can be defined. In this model the sender's messages arrive over a period of time, the receiver can reject some messages and retain others, the receiver can change his mind in various ways, and the receiver can apply various evaluation functions to a (...)
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  18. Stephan Hartmann & Jan Sprenger (2010). The Weight of Competence Under a Realistic Loss Function. Logic Journal of the IGPL 18:346-352.
    In many scientific, economic and policy-related problems, pieces of information from different sources have to be aggregated. Typically, the sources are not equally competent. This raises the question of how the relative weights and competences should be related to arrive at an optimal final verdict. Our paper addresses this question under a more realistic perspective of measuring the practical loss implied by an inaccurate verdict.
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  19. Meir Hemmo (2007). Quantum Probability and Many Worlds. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):333-350.
    We discuss the meaning of probabilities in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. We start by presenting very briefly the many worlds theory, how the problem of probability arises, and some unsuccessful attempts to solve it in the past. Then we criticize a recent attempt by Deutsch to derive the quantum mechanical probabilities from the nonprobabilistic parts of quantum mechanics and classical decision theory. We further argue that the Born probability does not make sense even as an additional probability (...)
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  20. Richard Jeffrey (1983). The Logic of Decision. University of Chicago Press.
    "Frederic Schick, Journal of Philosophy This book uses elementary logical and mathematical means to philosophical end: elucidation of the notions of subjective ...
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  21. Hugh Lacey (1990). Review: The Significance of Decision Theory. [REVIEW] Behavior and Philosophy 18 (2):73 - 78.
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  22. Hakwan Lau (2008). A Higher Order Bayesian Decision Theory of Consciousness. In Rahul Banerjee & B. K. Chakrabarti (eds.), Models of Brain and Mind: Physical, Computational, and Psychological Approaches. Elsevier.
    It is usually taken as given that consciousness involves superior or more elaborate forms of information processing. Contemporary models equate consciousness with global processing, system complexity, or depth or stability of computation. This is in stark contrast with the powerful philosophical intuition that being conscious is more than just having the ability to compute. I argue that it is also incompatible with current empirical findings. I present a model that is free from the strong assumption that consciousness predicts superior performance. (...)
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  23. Peter J. Lewis, Deutsch on Quantum Decision Theory.
    A major problem facing no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics in the tradition of Everett is how to understand the probabilistic axiom of quantum mechanics (the Born rule) in the context of a deterministic theory in which every outcome of a measurement occurs. Deutsch claims to derive a decision-theoretic analogue of the Born rule from the non-probabilistic part of quantum mechanics and some non-probabilistic axioms of classical decision theory, and hence concludes that no probabilistic axiom is needed. I argue that Deutsch’s (...)
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  24. Dustin Locke, Knowledge-Free Decision Theory.
  25. Thierry Magnac & Jean-Marc Robin (1999). Dynamic Stochastic Dominance in Bandit Decision Problems. Theory and Decision 47 (3):267-295.
    The aim of this paper is to study the monotonicity properties with respect to the probability distribution of the state processes, of optimal decisions in bandit decision problems. Orderings of dynamic discrete projects are provided by extending the notion of stochastic dominance to stochastic processes.
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  26. Jacob Paroush (1997). Order Relations Among Efficient Decision Rules. Theory and Decision 43 (3):209-218.
    The paper introduces the concept of polar decision rules and establishes that majority rules are polar rules. We identify second best rules and penultimate rules in cases that majority rules are optimal or the most inferior, respectively. We especially specify the almost expert rule and the almost majority rule as the secondary rules of the expert and majority rules, respectively.
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  27. Lawrence Pasternack (2012). The Many Gods Objection to Pascal's Wager: A Decision Theoretic Response. Philo 15 (2):158-178.
    The Many Gods Objection (MGO) is widely viewed as a decisive criticism of Pascal’s Wager. By introducing a plurality of hypotheses with infinite expected utility into the decision matrix, the wagerer is left without adequate grounds to decide between them. However, some have attempted to rebut this objection by employing various criteria drawn from the theological tradition. Unfortunately, such defenses do little good for an argument that is supposed to be an apologetic aimed at atheists and agnostics. The purpose of (...)
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  28. Wlodek Rabinowicz (2010). In Memoriam: Jordan Howard Sobel (1929–2010). Theoria 76 (3):192-196.
    It's an obituary of Jordan Howard Sobel, a prominent American-Canadian moral philosopher and a decision theorist who died in 2010. The obituary focuses on Sobels' close contacts with the Swedish philosophical community and on his contributions to Theoria.
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  29. Robert C. Robinson (2007). S5 Solution to the Red Hat Puzzle. Disputatio 2 (22):1 - 7.
    Abstract: I argue that the solution to the Red Hat Problem, a puzzle derived from interactive epistemic logic, requires S5. Interactive epis- temic logic is set out in formal terms, and an attempt to solve the red hat puzzle is made in K, K, and K, each of which fails, showing that a stronger system, K is required.
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  30. Frederic Schick (1997). Making Choices: A Recasting of Decision Theory. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a unique introductory overview of decision theory. It is completely non-technical, without a single formula in the book. Written in a crisp and clear style it succinctly covers the full range of philosophical issues of rationality and decision theory, including game theory, social choice theory, prisoner's dilemma and much else. The book aims to expand the scope and enrich the foundations of decision theory. By addressing such issues as ambivalence, inner conflict, and the constraints imposed upon us (...)
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  31. Frederic Schick (1979). Self-Knowledge, Uncertainty, and Choice. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):235-252.
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  32. Hans Bernhard Schmid (2011). The Idiocy of Strategic Reasoning. Towards an Account of Consensual Action. Analyse and Kritik 31 (1):35-56.
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  33. Teddy Seidenfeld, Extensions of Expected Utility Theory and Some Limitations of Pairwise Comparisons.
    We contrast three decision rules that extend Expected Utility to contexts where a convex set of probabilities is used to depict uncertainty: Γ-Maximin, Maximality, and E-admissibility. The rules extend Expected Utility theory as they require that an option is inadmissible if there is another that carries greater expected utility for each probability in a (closed) convex set. If the convex set is a singleton, then each rule agrees with maximizing expected utility. We show that, even when the option set is (...)
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  34. Holly M. Smith (2012). Using Moral Principles to Guide Decisions. Philosophical Issues 22 (1):369-386.
  35. D. Spurrett (2009). Need There Be a Common Currency for Decision-Making? South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):210-221.
    According to various theorists and empirical scholars of behavior and decision, including economists, utility theorists, behavioral ecologists, behavioral economists and researchers in the new field of neuroeconomics the value (typically understood as utility) of competing choices must be represented on a common scale in order for them to count as competing at all, and in order for orderly comparison to lead to actual choices. For some neuroeconomists this means that expected (cardinal) utilities are neurally represented by firing rates of cells (...)
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  36. Weng Hong Tang (forthcoming). Belief and Cognitive Limitations. Philosophical Studies.
    A number of philosophers have argued that it is hard for finite agents like us to reason and make decisions relying solely on our credences and preferences. They hold that for us to cope with our cognitive limitations, we need binary beliefs as well. For they think that such beliefs, by disposing us to treat certain propositions as true, help us cut down on the number of possibilities we need to consider when we reason. But using Ross and Schroeder (2012) (...)
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  37. Paul Tappenden (2011). Evidence and Uncertainty in Everett's Multiverse. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):99-123.
    How does it come about then, that great scientists such as Einstein, Schrödinger and De Broglie are nevertheless dissatisfied with the situation? Of course, all these objections are levelled not against the correctness of the formulae, but against their interpretation. [...] The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our doctrine is hidden a (...)
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  38. Bas van Fraassen (1980). Review of Brian Ellis, Rational Belief Systems. [REVIEW] Canadian Journal of Philosophy 10:497--511.
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  39. 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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  40. David Wallace, Quantum Probability and Decision Theory, Revisited [2002 Online-Only Paper].
    An extended analysis is given of the program, originally suggested by Deutsch, of solving the probability problem in the Everett interpretation by means of decision theory. Deutsch's own proof is discussed, and alternatives are presented which are based upon different decision theories and upon Gleason's Theorem. It is argued that decision theory gives Everettians most or all of what they need from `probability'. Contact is made with Lewis's Principal Principle linking subjective credence with objective chance: an Everettian Principal Principle is (...)
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  41. David Wallace (2010). A Formal Proof of the Born Rule From Decision-Theoretic Assumptions [Aka: How to Prove the Born Rule]. In Simon Saunders, Jon Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds? Everett, Quantum Theory, and Reality. OUP.
    I develop the decision-theoretic approach to quantum probability, originally proposed by David Deutsch, into a mathematically rigorous proof of the Born rule in (Everett-interpreted) quantum mechanics. I sketch the argument informally, then prove it formally, and lastly consider a number of proposed ``counter-examples'' to show exactly which premises of the argument they violate. (This is a preliminary version of a chapter to appear --- under the title ``How to prove the Born Rule'' --- in Saunders, Barrett, Kent and Wallace, "Many (...)
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  42. David Wallace (2003). Everettian Rationality: Defending Deutsch's Approach to Probability in the Everett Interpretation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (3):415-439.
    An analysis is made of Deutsch's recent claim to have derived the Born rule from decision-theoretic assumptions. It is argued that Deutsch's proof must be understood in the explicit context of the Everett interpretation, and that in this context, it essentially succeeds. Some comments are made about the criticism of Deutsch's proof by Barnum, Caves, Finkelstein, Fuchs, and Schack; it is argued that the flaw which they point out in the proof does not apply if the Everett interpretation is assumed.
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  43. Ralph Wedgwood, Akrasia and Uncertainty.
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  44. John R. Welch (2012). Real-Life Decisions and Decision Theory. In Sabine Roeser, Rafaela Hillerbrand, Per Sandin & Martin Peterson (eds.), Handbook of Risk Theory. Springer.
    Some decisions result in cognitive consequences such as information gained and information lost. The focus of this study, however, is decisions with consequences that are partly or completely noncognitive. These decisions are typically referred to as ‘real-life decisions’. According to a common complaint, the challenges of real-life decision making cannot be met by decision theory. This complaint has at least two principal motives. One is the maximizing objection that to require agents to determine the optimal act under real-world constraints is (...)
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  45. John R. Welch (2011). Decision Theory and Cognitive Choice. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):147-172.
    The focus of this study is cognitive choice: the selection of one cognitive option (a hypothesis, a theory, or an axiom, for instance) rather than another. The study proposes that cognitive choice should be based on the plausibilities of states posited by rival cognitive options and the utilities of these options' information outcomes. The proposal introduces a form of decision theory that is novel because comparative; it permits many choices among cognitive options to be based on merely comparative plausibilities and (...)
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  46. J. Robert G. Williams (2014). Decision-Making Under Indeterminacy. Philosophers' Imprint 14 (4).
    Decisions are made under uncertainty when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and one is uncertain to which the act will lead. Decisions are made under indeterminacy when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and it is indeterminate to which the act will lead. This paper develops a theory of (synchronic and diachronic) decision-making under indeterminacy that portrays the rational response to such situations as inconstant. Rational agents have to capriciously and randomly choose how to resolve (...)
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