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Profile: Paul Weirich (University of Missouri, Columbia)
  1. Nils‐Eric Sahlin & Paul Weirich (2014). Unsharp Sharpness. Theoria 80 (1):100-103.
    In a recent, thought-provoking paper Adam Elga ((2010) argues against unsharp – e.g., indeterminate, fuzzy and unreliable – probabilities. Rationality demands sharpness, he contends, and this means that decision theories like Levi's (1980, 1988), Gärdenfors and Sahlin's (1982), and Kyburg's (1983), though they employ different decision rules, face a common, and serious, problem. This article defends the rule to maximize minimum expected utility against Elga's objection.
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  2. Paul Weirich (2013). Preference. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  3. Paul Weirich (2012). Collective Acts. Synthese 187 (1):223-241.
    Groups of people perform acts. For example, a committee passes a resolution, a team wins a game, and an orchestra performs a symphony. These collective acts may be evaluated for rationality. Take a committee’s passing a resolution. This act may be evaluated not only for fairness but also for rationality. Did it take account of all available information? Is the resolution consistent with the committee’s past resolutions? Standards of collective rationality apply to collective acts, that is, acts that groups of (...)
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  4. Paul Weirich (2012). Calibration. In. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. 415--425.
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  5. Paul Weirich (2011). Introduction: Interactive Epistemology. Episteme 8 (3):201-208.
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  6. Paul Weirich (2010). Collective Rationality: Equilibrium in Cooperative Games. Oxford University Press.
    This book argues that a group's act is evaluable for rationality if it is the products of acts its members fully control.
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  7. Paul Weirich (2010). Introduction. Synthese 176 (1):1-3.
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  8. Paul Weirich (2010). Optimization and Improvement. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 148 (3):467 - 475.
    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 (...)
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  9. Paul Weirich (2010). Probabilities in Decision Rules. In. In Ellery Eells & James H. Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science. Springer. 289--319.
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  10. Paul Weirich (2010). The Contributors. Synthese 176 (1):149-150.
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  11. Paul Weirich (2010). Utility and Framing. Synthese 176 (1):83 - 103.
    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 (...)
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  12. Paul Weirich (2009). Book Reviews Bermúdez, José Luis . Decision Theory and Rationality . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. 189. $50.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW] Ethics 119 (4):757-761.
  13. Paul Weirich, Calibration.
    Abner Shimony (1988) argues that degrees of belief satisfy the axioms of probability because their epistemic goal is to match estimates of objective probabilities. Because the estimates obey the axioms of probability, degrees of belief must also obey them to reach their epistemic goal. This calibration argument meets some objections, but with a few revisions it can surmount those objections. It offers a good alternative to the Dutch book argument for compliance with the probability axioms. The defense of Shimony's calibration (...)
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  14. Paul Weirich, Causal Decision Theory. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  15. Paul Weirich (ed.) (2008). Labeling Genetically Modified Food: The Philosophical and Legal Debate. OUP USA.
    Food products with genetically modified (GM) ingredients are common, yet many consumers are unaware of this. When polled, consumers say that they want to know whether their food contains GM ingredients, just as many want to know whether their food is natural or organic. Informing consumers is a major motivation for labeling. But labeling need not be mandatory. Consumers who want GM-free products will pay a premium to support voluntary labeling. Why do consumers want to know about GM ingredients? GM (...)
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  16. Paul Weirich (2008). Using Food Labels to Regulate Risks. In , Labeling Genetically Modified Food: The Philosophical and Legal Debate. Oup Usa.
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  17. Paul Weirich (2008). Utility Maximization Generalized. Journal of Moral Philosophy 5 (2):282-299.
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  18. Paul Weirich (2007). Thinking About Acting: Logical Foundations for Rational Decision Making - by John L. Pollock. Philosophical Books 48 (3):283-285.
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  19. Paul Weirich (2007). Initiating Coordination. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):790-801.
    How do rational agents coordinate in a single-stage, noncooperative game? Common knowledge of the payoff matrix and of each player's utility maximization among his strategies does not suffice. This paper argues that utility maximization among intentions and then acts generates coordination yielding a payoff-dominant Nash equilibrium. ‡I thank the audience at my paper's presentation at the 2006 PSA meeting for many insightful points. †To contact the author, please write to: Philosophy Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; e-mail: WeirichP@missouri.edu.
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  20. Paul Weirich (2007). Review of Erik J. Olsson (Ed.), Knowledge and Inquiry: Essays on the Pragmatism of Isaac Levi. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (8).
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  21. Paul Weirich, Computer Simulations in Game Theory.
    A computer simulation runs a model generating a phenomenon under investigation. For the simulation to be explanatory, the model has to be explanatory. The model must be isomorphic to the natural system that realizes the phenomenon. This paper elaborates the method of assessing a simulation's explanatory power. Then it illustrates the method by applying it to two simulations in game theory. The first is Brian Skyrms's (1990) simulation of interactive deliberations. It is intended to explain the emergence of a Nash (...)
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  22. Paul Weirich (2005). Regulation of Risks. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):564-565.
    Sunstein argues that heuristics misguide moral judgments. Principles that are normally sound falter in unusual cases. In particular, heuristics generate erroneous judgments about regulation of risks. Sunstein's map of moral reasoning omits some prominent contours. The simple heuristics he suggests neglect a reasoner's attempt to balance the pros and cons of regulating a risk.
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  23. Paul Weirich (2004). Belief and Acceptance. In Ilkka Niiniluoto, Matti Sintonen & Jan Wolenski (eds.), Handbook of Epistemology. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub. 499--520.
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  24. Paul Weirich (2004). Economic Rationality. In Alfred R. Mele & Piers Rawling (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oup Usa.
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  25. Paul Weirich (2004). Frederic Schick, Ambiguity and Logic Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 24 (3):222-224.
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  26. Paul Weirich (2004). Handbook of Epistemology. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub.
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  27. Paul Weirich (2004). Joseph Y. Halpern, Reasoning About Uncertainty Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 24 (5):333-336.
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  28. Paul Weirich (2004). Realistic Decision Theory: Rules for Nonideal Agents in Nonideal Circumstances. OUP USA.
    Within traditional decision theory, common decision principles - e.g. the principle to maximize utility -- generally invoke idealization; they govern ideal agents in ideal circumstances. In Realistic Decision Theory, Paul Weirch adds practicality to decision theory by formulating principles applying to nonideal agents in nonideal circumstances, such as real people coping with complex decisions. Bridging the gap between normative demands and psychological resources, Realistic Decision Theory is essential reading for theorists seeking precise normative decision principles that acknowledge the limits and (...)
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  29. Paul Weirich (2003). From Rationality to Coordination. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):179-180.
    Game theory's paradoxes stimulate the study of rationality. Sometimes they motivate the revising of standard principles of rationality. Other times they call for revising applications of those principles or introducing supplementary principles of rationality. I maintain that rationality adjusts its demands to circumstances, and in ideal games of coordination it yields a payoff-dominant equilibrium.
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  30. Paul Weirich (2002). Comments on Ellis' “What Economists (and Everyone Else) Should Think About Utility Theory”. Southwest Philosophy Review 18 (2):117-120.
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  31. Paul Weirich (2002). Decisions to Follow a Rule. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):280-281.
    Rachlin favors following patterns over making decisions case by case. However, his accounts of self-control and altruism do not establish the rationality of making decisions according to patterns. The best arguments for using patterns as a standard of evaluation appeal to savings in cognitive costs and compensation for irrational dispositions. What the arguments show depends on how they are elaborated and refined.
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  32. Paul Weirich (2001). Ken Binmore, Just Playing: Game Theory and the Social Contract:Just Playing: Game Theory and the Social Contract. Ethics 111 (4):794-797.
  33. Paul Weirich (2001). Risk's Place in Decision Rules. Synthese 126 (3):427 - 441.
    To handle epistemic and pragmatic risks, Gärdenfors and Sahlin (1982, 1988) design a decision procedure for cases in which probabilities are indeterminate. Their procedure steps outside the traditional expected utility framework. Must it do this? Can the traditional framework handle risk? This paper argues that it can. The key is a comprehensive interpretation of an option's possible outcomes. Taking possible outcomes more broadly than Gärdenfors and Sahlin do, expected utility can give risk its due. In particular, Good's (1952) decision procedure (...)
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  34. Paul Weirich (1999). Economic Choice Theory: An Experimental Analysis of Animal Behavior, John H. Kagel, Raymond C. Battalio, and Leonard Green. Cambridge University Press, 1995, Xii + 230 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 15 (02):295-.
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  35. Paul Weirich (1999). [Book Review] Equilibrium and Rationality, Game Theory Revised by Decision Rules. [REVIEW] Ethics 109 (3):684-686.
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  36. Paul Weirich (1999). Self-Supporting Strategies and Equilibria in Games. American Philosophical Quarterly 36 (4):323 - 336.
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  37. Paul Weirich (1998). Comte et Mill sur l'économie politique. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 52 (203):79-93.
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  38. Paul Weirich (1997). Cristina Bicchieri, Richard Jeffrey, and Brian Skyrms, Eds., The Dynamics of Norms Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 17 (6):388-390.
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  39. Paul Weirich (1996). Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill et l'êconomie politique. Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française 8 (1):40-53.
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  40. Paul Weirich (1996). Mark Kaplan, Decision Theory as Philosophy Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 16 (3):179-180.
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  41. Paul Weirich (1995). Book Review:Taking Chances: Essays on Rational Choice. Jordan Howard Sobel. [REVIEW] Ethics 106 (1):191-.
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  42. Paul Weirich (1995). Value in Ethics and Economics. Philosophical Books 36 (2):139-141.
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  43. Paul Weirich (1994). Adam Morton on Dilemmas. Dialogue 33 (01):95-.
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  44. Paul Weirich (1994). A Study of Concepts. Review of Metaphysics 48 (1):159-160.
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  45. Paul Weirich (1994). The Hypothesis of Nash Equilibrium and Its Bayesian Justification. In. In Dag Prawitz & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Science in Uppsala. Kluwer. 245--264.
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  46. Paul Weirich (1992). Ellery Eells and Tomasz Maruszewski, Eds., Probability and Rationality: Studies on L. Jonathan Cohen's Philosophy of Science Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 12 (3):189-191.
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  47. Paul Weirich (1992). Richard Jeffrey, Probability and the Art of Judgment Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 12 (5):333-335.
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  48. Paul Weirich (1992). Rousseau on Equality. History of Philosophy Quarterly 9 (2):191 - 198.
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  49. Paul Weirich (1992). The Cement of Society. Philosophical Books 33 (1):1-9.
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  50. Paul Weirich (1991). Contractiarianism and Bargaining Theory. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:369-385.
    Classical bargaining theory attempts to solve a bargaining problem using only the information about the problem contained in the representation of its possible outcomes in utility space. However, this information usually underdetermines the solution. I use additional information about interpersonal comparisons of utility and bargaining power. The solution is then the outcome that maximizes the sum of power-weighted utilities. I use these results to advance a contractarian argument for a utilitarian form of social cooperation. As the original position, I propose (...)
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