Self-interest, autonomy, and the presuppositions of decision theory

American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (2):287 - 297 (1997)
Abstract
the voluntary actions of such beings cannot be covered by causal laws. Decision theorists, accepting the premise of this argument, appeal instead to noncausal laws predicated on principles of success—oriented action, and use these laws to produce substantive and testable predictions about large—scale human behavior. The primary directive of success-oriented action is maximization of some valuable quantity. Many economists and social scientists use the principles of decision theory to explain social and economic phenomena, while many political philosophers use them to make recommendations on questions of..
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