The philosophical enterprise -- The mind-body problem -- Free will and determinism -- The problem of personal identity -- The problem of relativism and morality -- The problem of evil and the existence of god -- The problem of skepticism and knowledge.
In his book Frederic Schick develops his challenge to standard decision theory. He argues that talk of the beliefs and desires of an agent is not sufficient to explain choices. To account for a given choice we need to take into consideration how the agent understands the problem, how he sees in a selective way the options open to him. The author applies his new logic to a host of common human predicaments. Why do people in choice experiments act so (...) often against expectations? Why do people cooperate in situations where textbook logic predicts that they won't? What exactly is weakness of will? What are people reporting when they say their lives have no meaning for them? This book questions the foundations of technical and philosophical decision theory and will appeal to all those who work in that field, be they philosophers, economists or psychologists. (shrink)
According to Eugenie Scott, methodological materialism---the view that science attempts to explain the world using material processes---does not imply philosophical materialism---the view that all that exists are material processes. Thus one can consistently be both a scientist and a theist. According to Phillip Johnson, however, methodological materialism presupposes philosophical materialism. Consequently, scientists are unable to see the cogency of supernatural explanations, like creationism. I argue that both Scott and Johnson are wrong: scientists are not limited to explaining tbe world using (...) material processes and science does not presuppose materialism. Thus scientists’ rejection of creationism is not irrational. (shrink)
Some believe that evidence for the big bang is evidence for the existence of god. Who else, they ask, could have caused such a thing? In this paper, I evaluate the big bang argument, compare it with the traditional first-cause argument, and consider the relative plausibility of various natural explanations of the big bang.
This book is a unique introductory overview of decision theory. It is completely non-technical, without a single formula in the book. Written in a crisp and clear style it succinctly covers the full range of philosophical issues of rationality and decision theory, including game theory, social choice theory, prisoner's dilemma and much else. The book aims to expand the scope and enrich the foundations of decision theory. By addressing such issues as ambivalence, inner conflict, and the constraints imposed upon us (...) by our attachments to others, Frederic Schick reveals that our thinking is often more subtle than standard theories of rationality allow. Only a theory that respects that subtlety can illumine what is otherwise puzzling. The book contains many examples drawn from history and literature dealing with subjects such as love, war, friendship, and crime. (shrink)
The debate over compensation packages for top executives is discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on the decoupling of CEO pay and organizational performance. A contrast is drawn between firms that are owner-controlled and those that are manager-controlled. Owner-controlled firms tend to be more market-driven. In manager-controlled firms, however, ownership can become diluted to the point where decisions may not always be in the best interest of shareholders. The process of determining CEO compensation packages is examined, and special attention is given (...) to the handling of stock options. In order to stem the threat of increased government intervention, suggestions are made for increasing the leverage of compensation committees and of shareholders in general. (shrink)
This is an important new book about human motivation, about the reasons people have for their actions. What is distinctively new about it is its focus on how people see or understand their situations, options, and prospects. By taking account of people's understandings (along with their beliefs and desires), Professor Schick is able to expand the current theory of decision and action. The author provides a perspective on the topic by outlining its history. He defends his new theory against criticism, (...) considers its formal structure, and shows at length how it resolves many currently debated problems: the problems of conflict and weakness of will, Allais' problem, Kahneman and Tversky's problems, Newcomb's problem, and others. The book will be of special interest to philosophers, psychologists, and economists. (shrink)
The correspondence theory of truth has often been attacked on the grounds that the notion of correspondence is too vague to do any serious philosophical work. More recently it has been attacked on the grounds that the sort of correspondence required by the theory does not exist.I argue, on the contrary, that there are no compelling reasons for believing that the requisite sort of correspondence does not exist and that the notion of correspondence can be made clear enough to yield (...) an adequate theory of truth. After critically examining Tarkski’s theory of truth, Ishow how a correspondence theory which applies to the statements of any language can be constructed. Then Davidson’s claim that all true statements correspond to the same thing and Putnam’s claim that there is no fact of the matter concerning what the terms of a language correspond to are shown to be untenable. (shrink)
This paper is a critique of Kenneth Arrow's thesis concerning the logical impossibility of a constitution. I argue that one of the premises of Arrow's proof, that of the transitivity of indifference, is untenable. Several concepts of preference are introduced and counter-instances are offered to the transitivity of indifference defined along the standard lines in terms of these concepts. Alternate analyses of indifference in terms of preference are considered, and it is shown that these do not serve Arrow's purposes either. (...) Finally, it is argued that in the single special case in which indifference could plausibly be held to be transitive, Arrow's thesis is innocuous. (shrink)