Optimization and improvement [Book Review]

Philosophical Studies 148 (3):467 - 475 (2010)
Agents face serious obstacles to making optimal decisions. For instance, their cognitive limits stand in the way. John Pollock’s book, Thinking about Acting , suggests many ways of revising decision principles to accommodate human limits and to direct limited, artificial agents. The book’s main proposal is to replace optimization, or expected-utility maximization, with locally global planning. This essay describes optimization and locally global planning, and then argues that optimization among salient options has the virtues of locally global planning without certain drawbacks. Although it does not endorse locally global planning, it recommends that decision theory incorporate some of the book’s ideas about settling for improvements when optimization among all options is unrealistic.
Keywords Decisions  Expected utility  Optimization  Planning  Rationality  Satisficing
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    References found in this work BETA
    Paul Weirich (1983). A Decision Maker's Options. Philosophical Studies 44 (2):175 - 186.
    Citations of this work BETA
    Paul Weirich (1985). Decision Instability. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63 (4):465 – 472.
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