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  1. Causal Decision Theory: A Counterexample.A. Ahmed - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (2):289-306.
    The essay presents a novel counterexample to Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Its interest is that it generates a case in which CDT violates the very principles that motivated it in the first place. The essay argues that the objection applies to all extant formulations of CDT and that the only way out for that theory is a modification of it that entails incompatibilism. The essay invites the reader to find this consequence of CDT a reason to reject it.
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  2. Social Norms, Rational Choice and Belief Change.Horacio Arlo-Costa & Arthur Paul Pedersen - unknown
    This article elaborates on foundational issues in the social sciences and their impact on the contemporary theory of belief revision. Recent work in the foundations of economics has focused on the role external social norms play in choice. Amartya Sen has argued in [Sen93] that the traditional rationalizability approach used in the theory of rational choice has serious problems accommodating the role of social norms. Sen's more recent work [Sen96, Sen97] proposes how one might represent social norms in the theory (...)
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  3. Self Torture and Group Beneficence.Frank Arntzenius & David McCarthy - 1997 - Erkenntnis 47 (1):129-144.
    Moral puzzles about actions which bring about very small or what are said to be imperceptible harms or benefits for each of a large number of people are well known. Less well known is an argument by Warren Quinn that standard theories of rationality can lead an agent to end up torturing himself or herself in a completely foreseeable way, and that this shows that standard theories of rationality need to be revised. We show where Quinn's argument goes wrong, and (...)
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  4. Sunk Costs.Robert Bass - manuscript
    Decision theorists generally object to “honoring sunk costs” – that is, treating the fact that some cost has been incurred in the past as a reason for action, apart from the consideration of expected consequences. This paper critiques the doctrine that sunk costs should never be honored on three levels. As background, the rationale for the doctrine is explained. Then it is shown that if it is always irrational to honor sunk costs, then other common and uncontroversial practices are also (...)
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  5. How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences Between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets.Ken Binmore, Lisa Stewart & Alex Voorhoeve - 2012 - Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45 (3):215-38.
    Experimental results on the Ellsberg paradox typically reveal behavior that is commonly interpreted as ambiguity aversion. The experiments reported in the current paper find the objective probabilities for drawing a red ball that make subjects indifferent between various risky and uncertain Ellsberg bets. They allow us to examine the predictive power of alternative principles of choice under uncertainty, including the objective maximin and Hurwicz criteria, the sure-thing principle, and the principle of insufficient reason. Contrary to our expectations, the principle of (...)
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  6. Can Good News Lead to a More Pessimistic Choice of Action?Giacomo Bonanno - 1988 - Theory and Decision 25 (2):123-136.
    Adapting a definition introduced by Milgrom (1981) we say that a signal about the environment is good news relative to some initial beliefs if the posterior beliefs dominate the initial beliefs in the sense of first-order stochastic dominance (the assumption being that higher values of the parameter representing the environment mean better environments). We give an example where good news leads to the adoption of a more pessimistic course of action (we say that action a, reveals greater pessimism than action (...)
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  7. Semicontinuous Representability of Homothetic Interval Orders by Means of Two Homogeneous Functionals.Gianni Bosi - 2002 - Theory and Decision 52 (4):303-312.
    It is well known that interval orders are particularly interesting in decision theory, since they are reflexive, complete and nontransitive binary relations which may be fully represented by means of two real-valued functions. In this paper, we discuss the existence of a pair of nonnegative, positively homogeneous and semicontinuous real-valued functionals representing an interval order on a real cone in a topological vector space. We recover as a particular case a result concerning the existence of a nonnegative, positively homogeneous and (...)
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  8. Decision Theory, Philosophical Perspectives.Darren Bradley - 2013 - In Hal Pashler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.
    Decision theory is concerned with how agents should act when the consequences of their actions are uncertain. The central principle of contemporary decision theory is that the rational choice is the choice that maximizes subjective expected utility. This entry explains what this means, and discusses the philosophical motivations and consequences of the theory. The entry will consider some of the main problems and paradoxes that decision theory faces, and some of responses that can be given. Finally the entry will briefly (...)
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  9. The Kinematics of Belief and Desire.Richard Bradley - 2007 - Synthese 156 (3):513-535.
    Richard Jeffrey regarded the version of Bayesian decision theory he floated in ‘The Logic of Decision’ and the idea of a probability kinematics—a generalisation of Bayesian conditioning to contexts in which the evidence is ‘uncertain’—as his two most important contributions to philosophy. This paper aims to connect them by developing kinematical models for the study of preference change and practical deliberation. Preference change is treated in a manner analogous to Jeffrey’s handling of belief change: not as mechanical outputs of combinations (...)
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  10. Desire, Expectation and Invariance.Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):691-725.
    The Desire-as-Belief thesis (DAB) states that any rational person desires a proposition exactly to the degree that she believes or expects the proposition to be good. Many people take David Lewis to have shown the thesis to be inconsistent with Bayesian decision theory. However, as we show, Lewis's argument was based on an Invariance condition that itself is inconsistent with the (standard formulation of the) version of Bayesian decision theory that he assumed in his arguments against DAB. The aim of (...)
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  11. Revisiting Risk and Rationality: A Reply to Pettigrew and Briggs.Lara Buchak - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):841-862.
    I have claimed that risk-weighted expected utility maximizers are rational, and that their preferences cannot be captured by expected utility theory. Richard Pettigrew and Rachael Briggs have recently challenged these claims. Both authors argue that only EU-maximizers are rational. In addition, Pettigrew argues that the preferences of REU-maximizers can indeed be captured by EU theory, and Briggs argues that REU-maximizers lose a valuable tool for simplifying their decision problems. I hold that their arguments do not succeed and that my original (...)
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  12. Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Lara Buchak sets out a new account of rational decision-making in the face of risk. She argues that the orthodox view is too narrow, and suggests an alternative, more permissive theory: one that allows individuals to pay attention to the worst-case or best-case scenario, and vindicates the ordinary decision-maker.
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  13. Review of José Luis Bermúdez, Decision Theory and Rationality[REVIEW]Lara Buchak - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (9).
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  14. Don’T Be an Ass: Rational Choice and its Limits.Marc Champagne - 2015 - Reason Papers 37 (1):137-147.
    Deliberation is often seen as the site of human freedom, but the binding power of rationality seems to imply that deliberation is, in its own way, a deterministic process. If one knows the starting preferences and circumstances of an agent, then, assuming that the agent is rational and that those preferences and circumstances don’t change, one should be in a position to predict what the agent will decide. However, given that an agent could conceivably confront equally attractive alternatives, it is (...)
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  15. Conditioning Capacities and Choquet Integrals: The Role of Comonotony.Alain Chateauneuf, Robert Kast & André Lapied - 2001 - Theory and Decision 51 (2/4):367-386.
    Choquet integrals and capacities play a crucial role in modern decision theory. Comonotony is a central concept for these theories because the main property of a Choquet integral is its additivity for comonotone functions. We consider a Choquet integral representation of preferences showing uncertainty aversion (pessimism) and propose axioms on time consistency which yield a candidate for conditional Choquet integrals. An other axiom characterizes the role of comonotony in the use of information. We obtain two conditioning rules for capacities which (...)
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  16. A Mysterious Case of Missing Value.Earl Conee - 2016 - Philosophic Exchange 45 (1):1-22.
    Sometimes there are conflicts about what we ought to do according to differing evaluative dimensions, like morality and self-interest. After sketching an interpretation of "ought" claims of all sorts, it is argued that there is no overriding evaluation that authoritatively resolves the conflicts. It is further argued that this is not altogether disappointing.
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  17. A Technical Definition of Uncertainty and the Long-Run Non-Neutrality of Money.Paul Davidson - 1988 - Cambridge Journal of Economics 12:329--338.
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  18. Decision Theory and the Rationality of Further Deliberation.Igor Douven - 2002 - Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):303-328.
    Bayesian decision theory operates under the fiction that in any decision-making situation the agent is simply given the options from which he is to choose. It thereby sets aside some characteristics of the decision-making situation that are pre-analytically of vital concern to the verdict on the agent's eventual decision. In this paper it is shown that and how these characteristics can be accommodated within a still recognizably Bayesian account of rational agency.
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  19. The Description–Experience Gap in Risky and Ambiguous Gambles.Varun Dutt, Horacio Arlo-Costa, Jeffrey Helzner & Cleotilde Gonzalez - 2014 - Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 27 (4):316-327.
  20. Review of Martin Peterson, An Introduction to Decision Theory[REVIEW]Ben Eggleston - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010.
    A review of Martin Peterson, _An Introduction to Decision Theory_ (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. x + 317.
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  21. Decision Theory and Information Propagation in Quantum Physics.Alan Forrester - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (4):815-831.
    In recent papers, Zurek [(2005). Probabilities from entanglement, Born's rule pk=|ψk|2 from entanglement. Physical Review A, 71, 052105] has objected to the decision-theoretic approach of Deutsch [(1999) Quantum theory of probability and decisions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A, 455, 3129–3137] and Wallace [(2003). Everettian rationality: defending Deutsch's approach to probability in the Everett interpretation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 34, 415–438] to deriving the Born rule for quantum probabilities on the grounds that it courts (...)
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  22. Epistemically Transformative Experience.Jane Friedman - manuscript
    A discussion of L.A. Paul's 'Transformative Experience' from an Author Meets Critics session at the 2015 Pacific APA.
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  23. Probability in the Everett Interpretation.Hilary Greaves - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):109–128.
    The Everett (many-worlds) interpretation of quantum mechanics faces a prima facie problem concerning quantum probabilities. Research in this area has been fast-paced over the last few years, following a controversial suggestion by David Deutsch that decision theory can solve the problem. This article provides a non-technical introduction to the decision-theoretic program, and a sketch of the current state of the debate.
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  24. Understanding Deutsch's Probability in a Deterministic Universe.Hilary Greaves - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3):423-456.
    Difficulties over probability have often been considered fatal to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. Here I argue that the Everettian can have everything she needs from `probability' without recourse to indeterminism, ignorance, primitive identity over time or subjective uncertainty: all she needs is a particular *rationality principle*. The decision-theoretic approach recently developed by Deutsch and Wallace claims to provide just such a principle. But, according to Wallace, decision theory is itself applicable only if the correct attitude to a future (...)
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  25. Preference Change: Approaches From Philosophy, Economics and Psychology.Till Grune (ed.) - 2008
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  26. Introspection, Revealed Preference and Neoclassical Economics: A Critical Response to Don Ross on the Robbins-Samuelson Argument Pattern.D. Wade Hands - 2008 - Journal of the History of Economic Thought 30:1-26.
    Abstract: Don Ross’ Economic Theory and Cognitive Science (2005) provides an elaborate philosophical defense of neoclassical economics. He argues that the central features of neoclassical theory are associated with what he calls the Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern and that it can be reconciled with recent developments in experimental and behavioral economics, as well as contemporary cognitive science. This paper argues that Ross’ Robbins-Samuelson argument pattern is not in the work of either Robbins or Samuelson and in many ways is in conflict (...)
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  27. 2006 HES Presidential Address: A Tale of Two Mainstreams: Economics and Philosophy of Natural Science in the Mid-Twentieth Century.D. Wade Hands - 2007 - Journal of the History of Economic Thought 29:1-13.
    Abstract: The paper argues that mainstream economics and mainstream philosophy of natural science had much in common during the period 1945-1965. It examines seven common features of the two fields and suggests a number of historical developments that might help explain these similarities. The historical developments include: the Vienna Circle connection, the Samuelson-Harvard-Foundations connection, and the Cold War operations research connection.
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  28. Popper, the Rationality Principle and Economic Explanation.D. Wade Hands - 1991 - In G. K. Shaw (ed.), Economics, Culture, and Education: Essays in Honor of Mark Blaug. Edward Elgar. pp. 108-119.
  29. Decision Theory.Sven Ove Hansson - unknown
    This text is a non-technical overview of modern decision theory. It is intended for university students with no previous acquaintance with the subject, and was primarily written for the participants of a course on risk analysis at Uppsala University in 1994.
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  30. A Model for Applying Information and Utility Functions.David Harrah - 1963 - Philosophy of Science 30 (3):267-273.
    If the currently available theories of semantic information and utility-expectation are to be applied in a satisfactory way, they must be combined with a message-processing procedure. This paper presents a model of communication within which such a procedure can be defined. In this model the sender's messages arrive over a period of time, the receiver can reject some messages and retain others, the receiver can change his mind in various ways, and the receiver can apply various evaluation functions to a (...)
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  31. The Weight of Competence Under a Realistic Loss Function.Stephan Hartmann & Jan Sprenger - 2010 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 18 (2):346-352.
    In many scientific, economic and policy-related problems, pieces of information from different sources have to be aggregated. Typically, the sources are not equally competent. This raises the question of how the relative weights and competences should be related to arrive at an optimal final verdict. Our paper addresses this question under a more realistic perspective of measuring the practical loss implied by an inaccurate verdict.
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  32. Quantum Probability and Many Worlds.Meir Hemmo - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):333-350.
    We discuss the meaning of probabilities in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. We start by presenting very briefly the many worlds theory, how the problem of probability arises, and some unsuccessful attempts to solve it in the past. Then we criticize a recent attempt by Deutsch to derive the quantum mechanical probabilities from the nonprobabilistic parts of quantum mechanics and classical decision theory. We further argue that the Born probability does not make sense even as an additional probability (...)
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  33. The Logic of Decision.Richard Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.
    "[This book] proposes new foundations for the Bayesian principle of rational action, and goes on to develop a new logic of desirability and probabtility."—Frederic Schick, _Journal of Philosophy_.
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  34. Review: The Significance of Decision Theory. [REVIEW]Hugh Lacey - 1990 - Behavior and Philosophy 18 (2):73 - 78.
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  35. A Higher Order Bayesian Decision Theory of Consciousness.Hakwan Lau - 2008 - In Rahul Banerjee & B. K. Chakrabarti (eds.), Models of Brain and Mind: Physical, Computational, and Psychological Approaches. Elsevier.
    It is usually taken as given that consciousness involves superior or more elaborate forms of information processing. Contemporary models equate consciousness with global processing, system complexity, or depth or stability of computation. This is in stark contrast with the powerful philosophical intuition that being conscious is more than just having the ability to compute. I argue that it is also incompatible with current empirical findings. I present a model that is free from the strong assumption that consciousness predicts superior performance. (...)
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  36. Deutsch on Quantum Decision Theory.Peter J. Lewis - unknown
    A major problem facing no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics in the tradition of Everett is how to understand the probabilistic axiom of quantum mechanics (the Born rule) in the context of a deterministic theory in which every outcome of a measurement occurs. Deutsch claims to derive a decision-theoretic analogue of the Born rule from the non-probabilistic part of quantum mechanics and some non-probabilistic axioms of classical decision theory, and hence concludes that no probabilistic axiom is needed. I argue that Deutsch’s (...)
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  37. Dynamic Stochastic Dominance in Bandit Decision Problems.Thierry Magnac & Jean-Marc Robin - 1999 - Theory and Decision 47 (3):267-295.
    The aim of this paper is to study the monotonicity properties with respect to the probability distribution of the state processes, of optimal decisions in bandit decision problems. Orderings of dynamic discrete projects are provided by extending the notion of stochastic dominance to stochastic processes.
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  38. Against Moral Hedging.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy (3):1-21.
    It has been argued by several philosophers that a morally motivated rational agent who has to make decisions under conditions of moral uncertainty ought to maximize expected moral value in his choices, where the expectation is calculated relative to the agent's moral uncertainty. I present a counter-example to this thesis and to a larger family of decision rules for choice under conditions of moral uncertainty. Based on this counter-example, I argue against the thesis and suggest a reason for its failure (...)
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  39. Deconstructing Anti-Realism: Quantum Mechanics and Interpretation Theory.Christopher Norris - 1997 - Substance 26 (3):3.
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  40. Vexing Expectations.Harris Nover & Alan Hájek - 2004 - Mind 113 (450):237-249.
    We introduce a St. Petersburg-like game, which we call the ‘Pasadena game’, in which we toss a coin until it lands heads for the first time. Your pay-offs grow without bound, and alternate in sign (rewards alternate with penalties). The expectation of the game is a conditionally convergent series. As such, its terms can be rearranged to yield any sum whatsoever, including positive infinity and negative infinity. Thus, we can apparently make the game seem as desirable or undesirable as we (...)
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  41. Order Relations Among Efficient Decision Rules.Jacob Paroush - 1997 - Theory and Decision 43 (3):209-218.
    The paper introduces the concept of polar decision rules and establishes that majority rules are polar rules. We identify second best rules and penultimate rules in cases that majority rules are optimal or the most inferior, respectively. We especially specify the almost expert rule and the almost majority rule as the secondary rules of the expert and majority rules, respectively.
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  42. The Many Gods Objection to Pascal's Wager: A Decision Theoretic Response.Lawrence Pasternack - 2012 - Philo 15 (2):158-178.
    The Many Gods Objection (MGO) is widely viewed as a decisive criticism of Pascal’s Wager. By introducing a plurality of hypotheses with infinite expected utility into the decision matrix, the wagerer is left without adequate grounds to decide between them. However, some have attempted to rebut this objection by employing various criteria drawn from the theological tradition. Unfortunately, such defenses do little good for an argument that is supposed to be an apologetic aimed at atheists and agnostics. The purpose of (...)
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  43. In Memoriam: Jordan Howard Sobel (1929–2010).Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2010 - Theoria 76 (3):192-196.
    It's an obituary of Jordan Howard Sobel, a prominent American-Canadian moral philosopher and a decision theorist who died in 2010. The obituary focuses on Sobels' close contacts with the Swedish philosophical community and on his contributions to Theoria.
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  44. S5 Solution to the Red Hat Puzzle.Robert C. Robinson - 2007 - Disputatio 2 (22):1 - 7.
    Abstract: I argue that the solution to the Red Hat Problem, a puzzle derived from interactive epistemic logic, requires S5. Interactive epis- temic logic is set out in formal terms, and an attempt to solve the red hat puzzle is made in K, K, and K, each of which fails, showing that a stronger system, K is required.
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  45. Making Choices: A Recasting of Decision Theory.Frederic Schick - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
    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 (...)
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  46. Self-Knowledge, Uncertainty, and Choice.Frederic Schick - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):235-252.
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  47. The Idiocy of Strategic Reasoning. Towards an Account of Consensual Action.Hans Bernhard Schmid - 2011 - Analyse & Kritik 31 (1):35-56.
    Practical reasoning is an agent's capacity to determine her course of behavior on the base of some evaluation of available alternatives. Reasoning is instrumental insofar as an agent decides over available alternatives by aiming to choose the best means to realize her own goals. Reasoning is strategic if the agent assumes that what the best means to realize her own goals is depends on what other agents will do. Strategic reasoning still plays a central role in influential accounts of social (...)
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  48. Extensions of Expected Utility Theory and Some Limitations of Pairwise Comparisons.Teddy Seidenfeld - unknown
    We contrast three decision rules that extend Expected Utility to contexts where a convex set of probabilities is used to depict uncertainty: Γ-Maximin, Maximality, and E-admissibility. The rules extend Expected Utility theory as they require that an option is inadmissible if there is another that carries greater expected utility for each probability in a (closed) convex set. If the convex set is a singleton, then each rule agrees with maximizing expected utility. We show that, even when the option set is (...)
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  49. Grounding Reichenbach's Pragmatic Vindication of Induction.Michael J. Shaffer - forthcoming - Polish Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper has three interdependent aims. The first is to make Reichenbach’s views on induction and probabilities clearer, especially as they pertain to his pragmatic justification of induction. The second aim is to show how his view of pragmatic justification arises out of his commitment to extensional empiricism and moots the possibility of a non-pragmatic justification of induction. Finally, and most importantly, a formal decision-theoretic account of Reichenbach’s pragmatic justification is offered in terms both of the minimax principle and the (...)
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  50. Stanley and the Stakes Hypothesis.Michael J. Shaffer - forthcoming - The Reasoner.
    The main examples of pragmatic encroachment presented by Jason Stanley involve the idea that knowledge ascription occurs more readily in cases where stakes are low rather than high. This is the stakes hypothesis. In this paper an example is presented showing that in some cases knowledge ascription is more readily appropriate where stakes are high rather than low.
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