Decision theory and cognitive choice

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 utilities. This form of decision theory intersects with recommendations by advocates of decision theory for cognitive choice, on the one hand, and defenders of comparative evaluation of scientific hypotheses and theories, on the other. But it differs from prior decision-theoretic proposals because it requires no more than minimal precision in specifying plausibilities and utilities. And it differs from comparative proposals because none has shown how comparative evaluations can be carried out within a decision-theoretic framework.
Keywords Decision theory  Cognitive choice  Probability  Plausibility  Utility  Information
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13194-010-0005-3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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

View all 46 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John R. Welch (2013). New Tools for Theory Choice and Theory Diagosis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (3):318-329.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
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
Reed Richter (1984). Rationality Revisited. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
José Gaxiola (2008). Cogniton, Rationality and Decision. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 33:67-73.
Paul Weirich (1986). Decisions in Dynamic Settings. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:438 - 449.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

41 ( #81,917 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.