David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese (14):1-33 (2011)
This article proposes a new theory of rational decision, distinct from both causal decision theory (CDT) and evidential decision theory (EDT). First, some intuitive counterexamples to CDT and EDT are presented. Then the motivation for the new theory is given: the correct theory of rational decision will resemble CDT in that it will not be sensitive to any comparisons of absolute levels of value across different states of nature, but only to comparisons of the differences in value between the available options within states of nature; however, the correct theory will also resemble EDT in that it will rely on conditional probabilities (not unconditional probabilities). The new theory gives a prominent role to the notion of a “benchmark” for each state of nature, by comparison with which the value of the available options in that state of nature are measured, and so it has been called the Benchmark Theory (BT). It is argued that BT gives the right verdict on the cases that seem to be counterexamples to CDT and EDT. Finally, some objections to BT are considered and answered.
|Keywords||Rational choice Causal decision theory Evidential decision theory Probability Incommensurability|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Hobbes (2012). Leviathan. Clarendon Press.
Richard Jeffrey (1983). The Logic of Decision. University of Chicago Press.
David K. Lewis (1983). Philosophical Papers. Oxford University Press.
Leonard J. Savage (1954). The Foundations of Statistics. Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Kieran Setiya (2007). Reasons Without Rationalism. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Ralph Wedgwood (2012). Outright Belief. Dialectica 66 (3):309–329.
Arif Ahmed (2015). Infallibility in the Newcomb Problem. Erkenntnis 80 (2):261-273.
Benjamin Plommer (2016). A New Problem with Mixed Decisions, Or: You’Ll Regret Reading This Article, But You Still Should. Erkenntnis 81 (2):349-373.
Robert Bassett (2015). A Critique of Benchmark Theory. Synthese 192 (1):241-267.
Daniel Dohrn (2015). Egan and Agents: How Evidential Decision Theory Can Deal with Egan’s Dilemma. Synthese 192 (6):1883-1908.
Similar books and articles
Kent Bach (1987). Newcomb's Problem: The $1,000,000 Solution. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):409 - 425.
Leigh B. Kelley (1988). Reflections on Deliberative Coherence. Synthese 76 (1):83 - 121.
Raymond Dacey, Richard E. Simmons, David J. Curry & John W. Kennelly (1977). A Cognitivist Solution to Newcomb's Problem. American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (1):79 - 84.
Louis Marinoff (1996). How Braess' Paradox Solves Newcomb's Problem: Not! International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (3):217 – 237.
Corliss G. Swain (1988). Cutting a Gordian Knot the Solution to Newcomb's Problem. Philosophical Studies 53 (3):391 - 409.
Jordan Howard Sobel (1991). Some Versions of Newcomb's Problem Are Prisoners' Dilemmas. Synthese 86 (2):197 - 208.
A. D. Irvine (1993). How Braess' Paradox Solves Newcomb's Problem. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (2):141 – 160.
Stephen Maitzen & Garnett Wilson (2003). Newcomb's Hidden Regress. Theory and Decision 54 (2):151-162.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads140 ( #26,901 of 1,907,353 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #42,629 of 1,907,353 )
How can I increase my downloads?