Decision Theory

Edited by Rachael Briggs (Australian National University, Stanford University)
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  1. An Intrapersonal Addition Paradox.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Ethics 129 (2):309-343.
    I present a new argument for the repugnant conclusion. The core of the argument is a risky, intrapersonal analogue of the mere addition paradox. The argument is important for three reasons. First, some solutions to Parfit’s original puzzle do not obviously generalize to the intrapersonal puzzle in a plausible way. Second, it raises independently important questions about how to make decisions under uncertainty for the sake of people whose existence might depend on what we do. And, third, it suggests various (...)
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  2. On the Limits of the Precautionary Principle.H. Orri Stefansson - forthcoming - Risk Analysis.
    The Precautionary Principle (PP) is an influential principle of risk management. It has been widely introduced into environmental legislation, and it plays an important role in most international environmental agreements. Yet, there is little consensus on precisely how to understand and formulate the principle. In this paper I prove some impossibility results for two plausible formulations of the PP as a decision-rule. These results illustrate the difficulty in making the PP consistent with the acceptance of any trade-offs between catastrophic risks (...)
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  3. A Counterexample to Three Imprecise Decision Theories.Seamus Bradley - forthcoming - Theoria.
    There is currently much discussion about how decision making should proceed when an agent's degrees of belief are imprecise; represented by a set of probability functions. I show that decision rules recently discussed by Sarah Moss, Susanna Rinard and Rohan Sud all suffer from the same defect: they all struggle to rationalize diachronic ambiguity aversion. Since ambiguity aversion is among the motivations for imprecise credence, this suggests that the search for an adequate imprecise decision rule is not yet over.
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  4. A Simpler and More Realistic Subjective Decision Theory.Haim Gaifman & Yang Liu - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4205–4241.
    In his classic book “the Foundations of Statistics” Savage developed a formal system of rational decision making. The system is based on (i) a set of possible states of the world, (ii) a set of consequences, (iii) a set of acts, which are functions from states to consequences, and (iv) a preference relation over the acts, which represents the preferences of an idealized rational agent. The goal and the culmination of the enterprise is a representation theorem: Any preference relation that (...)
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  5. Ramsey and Joyce on Deliberation and Prediction.Yang Liu & Huw Price - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Can an agent deliberating about an action A hold a meaningful credence that she will do A? 'No', say some authors, for 'Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction' (DCOP). Others disagree, but we argue here that such disagreements are often terminological. We explain why DCOP holds in a Ramseyian operationalist model of credence, but show that it is trivial to extend this model so that DCOP fails. We then discuss a model due to Joyce, and show that Joyce's rejection of DCOP rests (...)
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  6. Structuring Decisions Under Deep Uncertainty.Casey Helgeson - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    Innovative research on decision making under ‘deep uncertainty’ is underway in applied fields such as engineering and operational research, largely outside the view of normative theorists grounded in decision theory. Applied methods and tools for decision support under deep uncertainty go beyond standard decision theory in the attention that they give to the structuring (also called framing) of decisions. Decision structuring is an important part of a broader philosophy of managing uncertainty in decision making, and normative decision theorists can both (...)
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  7. Side Effects and the Structure of Deliberation.Grant Rozeboom - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2):1-19.
    There is a puzzle about the very possibility of foreseen but unintended side effects, and solving this puzzle requires us to revise our basic picture of the structure of practical deliberation. The puzzle is that, while it seems that we can rationally foresee, but not intend, bringing about foreseen side effects, it also seems that we rationally must decide to bring about foreseen side effects and that we intend to do whatever we decide to do. I propose solving this puzzle (...)
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  8. Surreal Decisions.Eddy Keming Chen & Daniel Rubio - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Although expected utility theory has proven a fruitful and elegant theory in the finite realm, attempts to generalize it to infinite values have resulted in many paradoxes. In this paper, we argue that the use of John Conway's surreal numbers shall provide a firm mathematical foundation for transfinite decision theory. To that end, we prove a surreal representation theorem and show that our surreal decision theory respects dominance reasoning even in the case of infinite values. We then bring our theory (...)
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  9. Inferring Probability Comparisons.Matthew Harrison-Trainor, Wesley H. Holliday & Thomas Icard - forthcoming - Mathematical Social Sciences.
    The problem of inferring probability comparisons between events from an initial set of comparisons arises in several contexts, ranging from decision theory to artificial intelligence to formal semantics. In this paper, we treat the problem as follows: beginning with a binary relation ≥ on events that does not preclude a probabilistic interpretation, in the sense that ≥ has extensions that are probabilistically representable, we characterize the extension ≥+ of ≥ that is exactly the intersection of all probabilistically representable extensions of (...)
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  10. Time-Slice Epistemology and Action Under Indeterminacy.Sarah Moss - 2015 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 172--94.
    This paper defines and defends time-slice epistemology, according to which there are no essentially diachronic norms of rationality. First I motivate and distinguish two notions of time-slice epistemology. Then I defend time-slice theories of action under indeterminacy, i.e. theories about how you should act when the outcome of your decision depends on some indeterminate claim. I raise objections to a theory of action under indeterminacy recently defended by Robbie Williams, and I propose some alternative theories in its place. Throughout this (...)
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  11. An Offer You Can't Refuse: Systematically Exploiting Utility-Maximisers with Malicious Gambles.Chalmers Adam - unknown
    Decision theory aims to provide mathematical analysis of which choice one should rationally make in a given situation. Our current decision theory norms have been very successful, however, several problems have proven vexing for standard decision theory. In this paper, I show that these problems all share a similar structure and identify a class of problems which decision theory overvalues. I demonstrate that agents who follow current standard decision theory can be exploited and have their preferences reordered if offered decision (...)
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  12. Epistemology as General Systems Theory: An Approach to the Design of Complex Decision-Making Experiments.Ian I. Mitroff & Francisco Sagasti - 1973 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 3 (2):117-134.
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  13. Decision Theory and Information Propagation in Quantum Physics.Alan Forrester - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (4):815-831.
  14. Knowing about Future Decisions.John Canfield - 1962 - Erkenntnis 22 (6):127.
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  15. Habituation and Rational Preference Revision.Eric M. Cave - 1998 - Dialogue 37 (2):219-234.
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  16. Decision-Making in a Planning Agency.A. H. Barton - 1963 - Social Science Information 2 (4):57-76.
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  17. Game Theory and Common-Sense Morality.J. Moreh - 1994 - Social Science Information 33 (1):93-115.
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  18. Using Decision Trees and Soft Labeling to Filter Mislabeled Data.Xinchuan Zeng & Tony Martinez - 2008 - Journal of Intelligent Systems 17 (4):331-354.
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  19. Remarks on Decision-Theoretic Concept of Rationality.Klemens Szaniawski - 1983 - der 16. Weltkongress Für Philosophie 2:1226-1232.
    Decision theory elucidates, in more ways than one, the, concept of rational behavior under imperfect knowledge of the consequences. On the other hand, the generally accepted concept of rationality refers to the end-means relation. This relation is not translatable into the language of decision theory. Consequently, the latter's claim to have defined in a general way rationality of behavior appears not to be valid.
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  20. A Simple Solution to the Two Envelope Problem.Ned Markosian - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (3):347-357.
    Various proposals have been made for solving The Two Envelope Problem. But even though the problem itself is easily stated and quite simple, the proposedsolutions have not been. Some involve calculus, some involve considerations about infinite values, and some are complicated in other ways. Moreover, there is not yet any one solution that is widely accepted as correct. In addition to being notable for its simplicity and its lack of a generally agreed-upon solution, The Two Envelope Problem is also notable (...)
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  21. Normative Uncertainty as a Voting Problem.William MacAskill - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):967-1004.
    Some philosophers have recently argued that decision-makers ought to take normative uncertainty into account in their decisionmaking. These philosophers argue that, just as it is plausible that we should maximize expected value under empirical uncertainty, it is plausible that we should maximize expected choice-worthiness under normative uncertainty. However, such an approach faces two serious problems: how to deal with merely ordinal theories, which do not give sense to the idea of magnitudes of choice-worthiness; and how, even when theories do give (...)
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  22. Rationality and Coordination.Margaret Gilbert & Cristina Bicchieri - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (1):105.
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  23. Choices: An Introduction to Decision Theory.Ellery Eells & Michael D. Resnik - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (2):272.
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  24. The Logic of Decision.Henry E. Kyberg & R. C. Jeffrey - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (2):250.
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  25. A Theory of Case-Based Decisions.Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Gilboa and Schmeidler provide a paradigm for modelling decision making under uncertainty. Unlike the classical theory of expected utility maximization, case-based decision theory does not assume that decision makers know the possible 'states of the world' or the outcomes, let alone the decision matrix attaching outcomes to act-state pairs. Case-based decision theory suggests that people make decisions by analogies to past cases: they tend to choose acts that performed well in the past in similar situations, and to avoid acts that (...)
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  26. The Problem of Self-Torture: What's Being Done?Stephen J. White - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):584-605.
    We commonly face circumstances in which the cumulative negative effects of repeatedly acting in a certain way over time will be significant, although the negative effects of any one such act, taken on its own, are insubstantial. Warren Quinn's puzzle of the self-torturer presents an especially clear example of this type of predicament. This paper considers three different approaches to understanding the rational response to such situations. The first focuses on the conditions under which it is rational to revise one's (...)
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  27. Signal, Decision, Action.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):709.
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  28. Oxymoronic Language and Logic in Quantum Mechanics and James Joyce.David Overstreet - 1980 - Substance 9 (3):37.
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  29. Rules of the Game: Regulation of the Text.Gerard Genot & Christine Wadleigh - 1977 - Substance 6 (17):75.
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  30. Dynamic CSP with Decision Transition Costs and its Solutions.Daisuke Hatano & Katsutoshi Hirayama - 2013 - Transactions of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence 28 (1):34-42.
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  31. Modeling Choice and Valuation in Decision Experiments.Graham Loomes - 2010 - Psychological Review 117 (3):902-924.
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  32. A Theory of Utility Conditionals: Paralogical Reasoning From Decision-Theoretic Leakage.Jean-François Bonnefon - 2009 - Psychological Review 116 (4):888-907.
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  33. An Additive-Utility Model of Delay Discounting.Peter R. Killeen - 2009 - Psychological Review 116 (3):602-619.
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  34. Pattern and Level of Risk in Gambling Decisions.Dean G. Pruitt - 1962 - Psychological Review 69 (3):187-201.
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  35. A Quantitative Theory of Decision.D. Cartwright & L. Festinger - 1943 - Psychological Review 50 (6):595-621.
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  36. Decision Field Theory: A Dynamic-Cognitive Approach to Decision Making in an Uncertain Environment.Jerome R. Busemeyer & James T. Townsend - 1993 - Psychological Review 100 (3):432-459.
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  37. Well-Being and Risk-Taking Behavior.Alexander J. Wulf - 2013 - Paragrana 22 (1).
  38. Indeterminacy, Angst and Conflicting Values.Jrg Williams - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):412-433.
    How should we make choices where the values we subscribe to give conflicting recommendations? I will be defending a reduction of decision making under conflict to decision making under indeterminacy, in the spirit of Broome. To defend this, I set out and endorse the basic features of decision making under conflict that Ruth Chang identifies. I show that we find exactly those features in cases of decision making under indeterminacy not involving conflicting values. Further, my theory of decision making under (...)
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  39. Rational Decision and Causality.Ellery Eells - 2016 - Cambridge University Press.
    First published in 1982, Ellery Eells' original work on rational decision making had extensive implications for probability theorists, economists, statisticians and psychologists concerned with decision making and the employment of Bayesian principles. His analysis of the philosophical and psychological significance of Bayesian decision theories, causal decision theories and Newcomb's paradox continues to be influential in philosophy of science. His book is now revived for a new generation of readers and presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, including a specially commissioned (...)
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  40. Indeterminate Preferences.Martin Peterson - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (2):297-320.
    It is commonly assumed that preferences are determinate; that is, that an agent who has a preference knows that she has the preference in question and is disposed to act upon it. This paper argues the dubiousness of that assumption. An account of indeterminate preferences in terms of self-predicting subjective probabilities is given, and a decision rule for choices involving indeterminate preferences is proposed. Wolfgang Spohn’s and Isaac Levi ’s arguments against self-predicting probabilities are also considered, in light of Wlodek (...)
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  41. McClennen, Harsanyi and the General Theory of Games: Some Philosophical Questions in the Construction and Justification of a Theory of Decision-Making.R. E. Freeman - 1977 - Philosophical Studies 31 (2):123-131.
  42. Climate Change Assessments: Confidence, Probability and Decision.Richard Bradley, Casey Helgeson & Brian Hill - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):500–522.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has developed a novel framework for assessing and communicating uncertainty in the findings published in their periodic assessment reports. But how should these uncertainty assessments inform decisions? We take a formal decision-making perspective to investigate how scientific input formulated in the IPCC’s novel framework might inform decisions in a principled way through a normative decision model.
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  43. Decisions and Revisions: Philosophical Essays on Knowledge and Value.Isaac Levi - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a collection of Isaac Levi's philosophical papers. Over the period represented by the work here, Professor Levi has developed an interrelated set of views, in the tradition of Peirce and Dewey, on epistemology and the philosophy of science and social science. This focus has been on the problem of induction and the growth of knowledge, the foundations of probability and the theory of rational decision-making. His most important essays in these areas are assembled here, with an introduction setting (...)
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  44. Decision Theory and the Philosophy of Action.Paisley Nathan Livingston - unknown
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  45. Reasoning About Actions and Plans.Michael Georgeff & Amy Lanksy (eds.) - 1986 - Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
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  46. Introduction: The Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Anna Marmodoro - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):309-311.
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  47. Gender Differences When Subjective Probabilities Affect Risky Decisions: An Analysis From the Television Game Show Cash Cab. [REVIEW]Matthew R. Kelley & Robert J. Lemke - 2015 - Theory and Decision 78 (1):153-170.
    This study uses the television show Cash Cab as a natural experiment to investigate gender differences in decision making under uncertainty. As expected, men are much more likely to accept the end-of-game gamble than are women, but men and women appear to weigh performance variables differently when relying on subjective probabilities. At best men base their risky decisions on general aspects of their previous “good” play (not all of which is relevant at the time the decision is made) and at (...)
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  48. Rationality in Quantum Decision Theory.Taiki Takahashi - 2013 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 46 (2):17-30.
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  49. Making Decisions About the Future: Regret and the Cognitive Function of Episodic Memory.Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - 2016 - In Kourken Michaelian, Stanley Klein & Karl Szpunar (eds.), Seeing the future: Theoretical perspectives on future-oriented mental time travel. Oxford University Press. pp. 241-266.
    In the recent literature on episodic memory, there has been increasing recognition of the need to provide an account of its adaptive function. In this context, it is sometimes argued that episodic memory is critical for certain forms of decision making about the future. We criticize existing accounts that try to give episodic memory a role in decision making, before giving a novel such account of our own. This turns on the thought of a link between episodic memory and the (...)
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  50. Décision Et Rationalité : Un Sujet Indiscipliné.Mathias Pessiglione - 2014 - Cités 60 (4):29.
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