David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 176 (1):83 - 103 (2010)
Standard principles of rational decision assume that an option's utility is both comprehensive and accessible. These features constrain interpretations of an option's utility. This essay presents a way of understanding utility and laws of utility. It explains the relation between an option's utility and its outcome's utility and argues that an option's utility is relative to a specification of the option. Utility's relativity explains how a decision problem's framing affects an option's utility and its rationality even for an agent who is cognitively perfect and lacks only empirical information. The essay rewrites standard laws of utility to accommodate relativization to propositions' specifications. The new laws are generalizations of the standard laws and yield them as special cases.
|Keywords||Decision frame Direct reference Expected utility Proposition Rationality Utility|
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Leonard J. Savage (1954). The Foundations of Statistics. Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Michael Bacharach (2006). Beyond Individual Choice: Teams and Frames in Game Theory. Princeton University Press.
David Lewis (1979). Attitudes de Dicto and de Se. Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Mark Crimmins (1992). Talk About Beliefs. MIT Press.
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