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  1. added 2020-06-01
    Calibration Dilemmas in the Ethics of Distribution.Jacob M. Nebel & H. Orri Stefansson - manuscript
    This paper presents a new kind of problem in the ethics of distribution. The problem takes the form of several "calibration dilemmas," in which intuitively reasonable aversion to small-stakes inequalities requires leading theories of distribution to recommend intuitively unreasonable aversion to large-stakes inequalities—e.g., inequalities in which half the population would gain an arbitrarily large quantity of well-being or resources. We first lay out a series of such dilemmas for a family of broadly prioritarian theories. We then consider a widely endorsed (...)
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  2. added 2020-04-03
    Rationality and Future Discounting.Arif Ahmed - 2018 - Topoi 39 (2):245-256.
    The best justification of time-discounting is roughly that it is rational to care less about your more distant future because there is less of you around to have it. I argue that the standard version of this argument, which treats both psychological continuity and psychological connectedness as reasons to care about your future, can only rationalize an irrational—because exploitable—form of future discounting.
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  3. added 2020-02-25
    How To Be Rational: How to Think and Act Rationally.David Robert - manuscript
    This book is divided into 4 chapters. In Chapters 1 and 2, I address (1) how to acquire rational belief attitudes and (2) how to make rational choices. Building on Chapters 1 and 2, I then answer two of the most pressing questions of our time: (3) Should you be skeptical of climate change? (4) Should you invest in life-extension medical research?
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  4. added 2020-02-20
    Ivan Moscati, "Measuring Utility". [REVIEW]William Peden - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Review of Books 1:1.
    In late-nineteenth-century economics, there was an epoch-defining shift from the labour theory of value to the marginal utility theory of value. According to the latter, the economic value of some circumstance (obtaining some good, some service, and so on) is its subjective utility at the margin. Thus, while there is an absolute sense in which I prefer having water to having diamonds, at the present moment I value one more unit of diamonds more than I value one more unit of (...)
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  5. added 2019-09-24
    Towards an Ontological Modelling of Preference Relations.Daniele Porello & Giancarlo Guizzardi - 2018 - In C. Ghidini, B. Magnini, A. Passerini & P. Traverso (eds.), AI*IA 2018 - Advances in Artificial Intelligence - XVIIth International Conference of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence, Trento, Italy, November 20-23, 2018, Proceedings. pp. 152--165.
    Preference relations are intensively studied in Economics, but they are also approached in AI, Knowledge Representation, and Conceptual Modelling, as they provide a key concept in a variety of domains of application. In this paper, we propose an ontological foundation of preference relations to formalise their essential aspects across domains. Firstly, we shall discuss what is the ontological status of the relata of a preference relation. Secondly, we investigate the place of preference relations within a rich taxonomy of relations (e.g. (...)
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  6. added 2019-09-21
    Risk Attitudes in Axiomatic Decision Theory: A Conceptual Perspective.Jean Baccelli - 2018 - Theory and Decision 84 (1):61-82.
    In this paper, I examine the decision-theoretic status of risk attitudes. I start by providing evidence showing that the risk attitude concepts do not play a major role in the axiomatic analysis of the classic models of decision-making under risk. This can be interpreted as reflecting the neutrality of these models between the possible risk attitudes. My central claim, however, is that such neutrality needs to be qualified and the axiomatic relevance of risk attitudes needs to be re-evaluated accordingly. Specifically, (...)
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  7. added 2019-09-19
    Can Morals Be Taught? (Die Angst des Ethiklehrers vor der Klasse. Ist Moral lehrbar?).Ferdinand Fellmann - 2000 - Reclam.
    This work has proved to be the secret classic of pedagogy. Fellmann argues for the transition from the strict Kantian ethics to the utilitarian-based art of living. This is presented in five steps: The class asks the instructor unexpected questions; how the instructor can address the fascination with evil and utility; the desire for morality and the metamorphoses of hedonism; even in morality, nothing is as successful as success; a field trip experiences a shipwreck, the social foundations of morality.
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  8. added 2019-09-13
    Context-Dependent Utilities.Haim Gaifman & Yang Liu - 2015 - In Wiebe Van Der Hoek, Wesley H. Holliday & Wen Fang Wang (eds.), Logic, Rationality, and Interaction. Springer. pp. 90-101.
    Savage's framework of subjective preference among acts provides a paradigmatic derivation of rational subjective probabilities within a more general theory of rational decisions. The system is based on a set of possible states of the world, and on acts, which are functions that assign to each state a consequence€. The representation theorem states that the given preference between acts is determined by their expected utilities, based on uniquely determined probabilities (assigned to sets of states), and numeric utilities assigned to consequences. (...)
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  9. added 2019-08-17
    Escaping the Cycle.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    I present a decision problem in which orthodox causal decision theory appears to violate weak versions of the independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) and normal-form extensive-form equivalence (NEE). I show that these violations lead to exploitable behavior and long-run poverty. These consequences appear damning, but I urge caution. Causalists can dispute the charge that they violate IIA and NEE in this case by carefully specifying when two options in different decision problems are similar enough to be counted as the same.
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  10. added 2019-06-05
    The Multiplication of Utility: N. M. L. Nathan.N. M. L. Nathan - 1994 - Utilitas 6 (2):217-218.
    Some people have supposed that utility is good in itself, non-in-strumentally good, as distinct from good because conducive to other good things. And in modern versions of this view, utility often means want-satisfaction, as distinct from pleasure or happiness. For your want that p to be satisfied, is it necessary that you know or believe that p, or sufficient merely that p is true? However that question is answered, there are problems with the view that want-satisfaction is a non-instrumental good. (...)
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  11. added 2019-06-05
    Utility Theories: Measurements and Applications. Ward Edwards.John Mullen - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (3):489-490.
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  12. added 2019-06-05
    The Futility of Multiple Utility: Timothy J. Brennan.Timothy J. Brennan - 1993 - Economics and Philosophy 9 (1):155-164.
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  13. added 2019-06-05
    ‘Utility’ and the ‘Utility Principle’: Hume, Smith, Bentham, Mill.Douglas G. Long - 1990 - Utilitas 2 (1):12-39.
    David Hume, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill are often viewed as contributors to or participants in a common tradition of thought roughly characterized as ‘the liberal tradition’ or the tradition of ‘bourgeois ideology’. This view, however useful it may be for polemical or proselytizing purposes, is in some important respects historiographically unsound. This is not to deny the importance of asking what twentieth-century liberals or conservatives might find in the works of, say, David Hume to support their (...)
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  14. added 2019-05-27
    Morali e mercati. Alcuni contributi recenti alla dissoluzione di una radicata antinomia.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 1996 - Quaderni di Azione Sociale 41 (4):55-70.
    The article sets out to reconstruct the ongoing re-discussion of role of morality in the economic subsystem. Traditional dichotomies between selfishness and benevolence, individual and collective interest, equality and efficiency have been shown to need more cautious reformulation. The claim is that, rather than taking sides for or against the reasons of ‘man’ or ‘solidarity’ against alleged reasons of the economy or the market, what is required is better understanding of the ways economies and markets work.
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  15. added 2019-05-15
    Principled Utility Discounting Under Risk.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):89-112.
    Utility discounting in intertemporal economic modelling has been viewed as problematic, both for descriptive and normative reasons. However, positive utility discount rates can be defended normatively; in particular, it is rational for future utility to be discounted to take into account model-independent outcomes when decision-making under risk. The resultant values will tend to be smaller than descriptive rates under most probability assignments. This also allows us to address some objections that intertemporal considerations will be overdemanding. A principle for utility discount (...)
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  16. added 2019-04-11
    Ricardo and the Utilitarians.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2004 - European Journal of the History of Economic Thought 11 (3):377-403.
    The paper discusses Ricardo's relationship to Mill and Bentham. It discusses first the origins of the myth of Ricardo's dependence from Bentham through Mill, and Halévy's contribution to the freezing of such a myth. The paper reconstructs what were their shared political commitments and activities and the kind of specific political views and agenda that may be ascribed to Ricardo himself. The paper discusses then the question of Ricardo's adhesion to Benthamite ethics. It examines fragments in Ricardo's correspondence with Maria (...)
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  17. added 2019-01-09
    Ekonomia altruizmu – o racjonalności zachowań prospołecznych.Magdalena Adamus - 2018 - Diametros 57:1-22.
    This paper presents considerations on altruism and prosocial behaviour formulated on the basis of some experiments with the ultimatum game. In the first part it will discuss relations between expected utility theories, the characteristics of homo oeconomicus and a modern understanding of altruism. It will focus in particular on conceptual differences, indicating that we can find more than one definition of altruism in modern literature. The second part of the text will provide an overview of selected behavioural theories of prosocial (...)
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  18. added 2019-01-08
    Expectational V. Instrumental Reasoning: What Statistics Contributes to Practical Reasoning.Mariam Thalos - 2017 - Diametros 53:125-149.
    Utility theories—both Expected Utility and non-Expected Utility theories—offer numericalized representations of classical principles meant for the regulation of choice under conditions of risk—a type of formal representation that reduces the representation of risk to a single number. I shall refer to these as risk-numericalizing theories of decision. I shall argue that risk--numericalizing theories are not satisfactory answers to the question: “How do I take the means to my ends?” In other words, they are inadequate or incomplete as instrumental theories. They (...)
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  19. added 2019-01-08
    Alokacyjne konsekwencje wprowadzenia prywatnych dodatkowych/równoległych ubezpieczeń zdrowotnych w społeczeństwach kierujących się egoizmem, altruizmem lub zawiścią – perspektywa ekonomiczna.Christoph Sowada - 2017 - Diametros 51:90-112.
    Assessing the implementation of various instruments and solutions in a healthcare system, we cannot limit ourselves to examining their impact on the fulfillment of the criteria of justice and equity alone. Another important social objective is to maximize social welfare under the conditions of the scarcity of resources. The aim of the article is to analyze the impact on social welfare of the implementation of private insurance into the existing system of public security, with a view to the following factors: (...)
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  20. added 2018-08-06
    Le libéralisme, l’utilitarisme et l’économie politique classique dans l’interprétation d’Élie Halévy.Philippe Mongin - 1990 - la Revue du M.A.U.S.S 10:135-169.
    Élie HALÉVY (1870-1937), philosophe et historien des idées, fut professeur à l'École libre des sciences politiques, l'ancêtre de l'actuel Sciences Po. Comme son autre grand ouvrage, l'Histoire du peuple anglais au XIXe siècle, paru en six tomes de 1913 à 1932, les trois tomes de La formation du radicalisme philosophique, parus en 1901 pour les deux premiers et en 1904 pour le troisième, reflètent pour partie ses enseignements de l'Ecole libre consacrés à l'histoire britannique. Le premier tome, La jeunesse de (...)
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  21. added 2018-08-02
    Utility Theory and Ethics.Mongin Philippe & D'Aspremont Claude - 1998 - In Salvador Barbera, Paul Hammond & Christian Seidl (eds.), Handbook of Utility Theory Volume1: Principles. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 371-481.
    This chapter of the Handbook of Utility Theory aims at covering the connections between utility theory and social ethics. The chapter first discusses the philosophical interpretations of utility functions, then explains how social choice theory uses them to represent interpersonal comparisons of welfare in either utilitarian or non-utilitarian representations of social preferences. The chapter also contains an extensive account of John Harsanyi's formal reconstruction of utilitarianism and its developments in the later literature, especially when society faces uncertainty rather than probabilistic (...)
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  22. added 2018-06-06
    Vorlesungsskript: Grundlagen des Entscheidens I.Eckhart Arnold - manuscript
    This is a series of lectures on formal decision theory held at the University of Bayreuth during the summer terms 2008 and 2009. It largely follows the book from Michael D. Resnik: Choices. An Introduction to Decision Theory, 5th ed. Minneapolis London 2000 and covers the topics: -/- Decisions under ignorance and risk Probability calculus (Kolmogoroff Axioms, Bayes' Theorem) Philosophical interpretations of probability (R. v. Mises, Ramsey-De Finetti) Neuman-Morgenstern Utility Theory Introductory Game Theory Social Choice Theory (Sen's Paradox of Liberalism, (...)
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  23. added 2018-03-29
    Uncertainty and Probability Within Utilitarian Theory.Jonathan Baron - 2017 - Diametros 53:6-25.
    Probability is a central concept in utilitarian moral theory, almost impossible to do without. I attempt to clarify the role of probability, so that we can be clear about what we are aiming for when we apply utilitarian theory to real cases. I point out the close relationship between utilitarianism and expected-utility theory, a normative standard for individual decision-making. I then argue that the distinction between “ambiguity” and risk is a matter of perception. We do not need this distinction in (...)
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  24. added 2018-02-27
    La formation du radicalisme philosophique by Elie Halévy.Monique Canto-Sperber Editor & Philippe Mongin Editors Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Pierre Bouretz (eds.) - 1995 - Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
    Élie HALÉVY (1870-1937), philosophe et historien des idées, fut professeur à l'École libre des sciences politiques, l'ancêtre de l'actuel Sciences Po. Comme son autre grand ouvrage, l'Histoire du peuple anglais au XIXe siècle, paru en six tomes de 1913 à 1932, les trois tomes de La formation du radicalisme philosophique, parus en 1901 pour les deux premiers et en 1904 pour le troisième, reflètent pour partie ses enseignements de l'Ecole libre consacrés à l'histoire britannique. Le premier tome, La jeunesse de (...)
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  25. added 2018-02-18
    Pluralism and Objectivism: Cornerstones for Interpersonal Comparisons.Lasse Nielsen - 2012 - SATS 13 (2):190-206.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Jahrgang: 13 Heft: 2 Seiten: 190-206.
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  26. added 2018-02-18
    Coherent Choice Functions Under Uncertainty.Teddy Seidenfeld, Mark J. Schervish & Joseph B. Kadane - 2010 - Synthese 172 (1):157-176.
    We discuss several features of coherent choice functions —where the admissible options in a decision problem are exactly those that maximize expected utility for some probability/utility pair in fixed set S of probability/utility pairs. In this paper we consider, primarily, normal form decision problems under uncertainty—where only the probability component of S is indeterminate and utility for two privileged outcomes is determinate. Coherent choice distinguishes between each pair of sets of probabilities regardless the “shape” or “connectedness” of the sets of (...)
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  27. added 2018-02-16
    Representation of Strongly Independent Preorders by Sets of Scalar-Valued Functions.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Teruji Thomas - 2017 - MPRA Paper No. 79284.
    We provide conditions under which an incomplete strongly independent preorder on a convex set X can be represented by a set of mixture preserving real-valued functions. We allow X to be infi nite dimensional. The main continuity condition we focus on is mixture continuity. This is sufficient for such a representation provided X has countable dimension or satisfi es a condition that we call Polarization.
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  28. added 2018-02-16
    Facts, Norms and Expected Utility Functions.Sophie Jallais, Pierre-Charles Pradier & David Teira - 2008 - History of the Human Sciences 21 (2):45-62.
    In this article we explore an argumentative pattern that provides a normative justification for expected utility functions grounded on empirical evidence, showing how it worked in three different episodes of their development. The argument claims that we should prudentially maximize our expected utility since this is the criterion effectively applied by those who are considered wisest in making risky choices (be it gamblers or businessmen). Yet, to justify the adoption of this rule, it should be proven that this is empirically (...)
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  29. added 2018-01-14
    Symmetry in Cognition, and its Reflection in Society.Miro Brada - 2016 - In Ioannis Vandoulakis (ed.), Symmetry: Art and Science. Adeilaide: International Symmetry Society. pp. 34-37.
    Cognitive tests show that identity and symmetry reflect intellect. 'Guess of other guess' creates various symmetries, while only one is right: 'absolute symmetry', which can be outvoted by the majority. Prejudices result from differences between ME (my identity) and others. Unbiased judgement is symmetrical, always in the middle: neither in favor, nor against ME. Intelligence reduces prejudices, but the lack of opportunities can counterbalance it. That's why type of bias differs in various groups: people from war zones, people in therapy, (...)
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  30. added 2017-11-28
    Transformative Experience and the Knowledge Norms for Action: Moss on Paul’s Challenge to Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. New York, NY, USA:
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. 2015, Harman (...)
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  31. added 2017-11-18
    Social Preference Under Twofold Uncertainty.Philippe Mongin & Marcus Pivato - forthcoming - Economic Theory.
    We investigate the conflict between the ex ante and ex post criteria of social welfare in a new framework of individual and social decisions, which distinguishes between two sources of uncertainty, here interpreted as an objective and a subjective source respectively. This framework makes it possible to endow the individuals and society not only with ex ante and ex post preferences, as is usually done, but also with interim preferences of two kinds, and correspondingly, to introduce interim forms of the (...)
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  32. added 2017-10-11
    Duhemian Themes in Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 2009 - In Anastasios Brenner and Jean Gayon (ed.), French Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 303-357.
    This monographic chapter explains how expected utility (EU) theory arose in von Neumann and Morgenstern, how it was called into question by Allais and others, and how it gave way to non-EU theories, at least among the specialized quarters of decion theory. I organize the narrative around the idea that the successive theoretical moves amounted to resolving Duhem-Quine underdetermination problems, so they can be assessed in terms of the philosophical recommendations made to overcome these problems. I actually follow Duhem's recommendation, (...)
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  33. added 2017-10-06
    A Welfarist Version of Harsanyi's Theorem.Claude D'Aspremont & Philippe Mongin - 2008 - In M. Salles and J. Weymark M. Fleurbaey (ed.), Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. Ch. 11.
    This is a chapter of a collective volume of Rawls's and Harsanyi's theories of distributive justice. It focuses on Harsanyi's important Social Aggregation Theorem and technically reconstructs it as a theorem in welfarist social choice.
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  34. added 2017-10-06
    Halévy's Bentham is Bentham.Philippe Mongin & Nathalie Sigot - 1999 - Philosophy 74 (2):271-281.
    A reply to Fransisco Vergara's attack on Halévy's interpretation of Bentham in Philosophy, January, 1998. Vergara had argued that Halévy was mistaken in interpreting Bentham's principle of utility as a psychological law as well as the ethical greatest happiness principle. Mongin and Sigot show that Halévy correctly interpreted Bentham's texts and that the psychological law is necessary to Bentham's legal theory, economics and politics; they also argue that it is incorrect to confuse the principle of utility with a theory of (...)
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  35. added 2017-10-05
    The Paradox of the Bayesian Experts.Philippe Mongin - 2001 - In David Corfield & Jon Williamson (eds.), Foundations of Bayesianism. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 309-338.
    This paper (first published under the same title in Journal of Mathematical Economics, 29, 1998, p. 331-361) is a sequel to "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation", Journal of Economic Theory, 66, 1995, p. 313-351, by the same author. Both papers examine mathematically whether the the following assumptions are compatible: the individuals and the group both form their preferences according to Subjective Expected Utility (SEU) theory, and the preferences of the group satisfy the Pareto principle with respect to those of the individuals. While (...)
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  36. added 2017-08-20
    Continuity and Completeness of Strongly Independent Preorders.David McCarthy & Kalle Mikkola - 2018 - Mathematical Social Sciences 93:141-145.
    A strongly independent preorder on a possibly in finite dimensional convex set that satisfi es two of the following conditions must satisfy the third: (i) the Archimedean continuity condition; (ii) mixture continuity; and (iii) comparability under the preorder is an equivalence relation. In addition, if the preorder is nontrivial (has nonempty asymmetric part) and satisfi es two of the following conditions, it must satisfy the third: (i') a modest strengthening of the Archimedean condition; (ii') mixture continuity; and (iii') completeness. Applications (...)
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  37. added 2017-08-07
    How to Be an Ex-Post Egalitarian and an Ex-Ante Paretian.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):550-558.
    It is well known that there is a conflict between three intuitive principles for the evaluation of risky prospects in distributional contexts, Ex-Post Egalitarianism, Ex-Ante Pareto and Dominance. In this paper, I return to Peter Diamond’s suggestion that we reject Dominance as a principle of rationality in distributional contexts and present a new argument in support of this position. The argument is based on an observation regarding the right way for a distributor to weigh reasons for actions. In some cases, (...)
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  38. added 2017-05-16
    Expected Comparative Utility Theory: A New Theory of Rational Choice.David Robert - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (1):19-37.
    This paper proposes a new theory of rational choice, Expected Comparative Utility (ECU) Theory. It is first argued that for any decision option, a, and any state of the world, G, the measure of the choiceworthiness of a in G is the comparative utility of a in G – that is, the difference in utility, in G, between a and whichever alternative to a carries the greatest utility in G. On the basis of this principle, it is then argued, roughly (...)
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  39. added 2017-02-14
    State-Dependent Utility.Edi Karni - 2009 - In Paul Anand, Prasanta Pattanaik & Clemens Puppe (eds.), Handbook of Rational and Social Choice. Oxford University Press.
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  40. added 2017-02-14
    On the Utility of the Historical Approach in Teaching Philosophy.G. Piaia - 1998 - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 53 (2):337-350.
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  41. added 2017-02-14
    The Impossibility of Interpersonal Utility Comparisons-a Reply-to Ruth Weintraub, Mind, Vol. 105, P. 661, 1996.Daniel M. Hausman - 1996 - Mind 105:661.
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  42. added 2017-02-14
    Utility Theories: Measurements and Applications.Ward Edwards & John D. Mullen - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (3):487-490.
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  43. added 2017-02-13
    Justice and Utility.John Stuart Mill - 2009 - In Matt Zwolinski (ed.), Arguing About Political Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 178.
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  44. added 2017-02-13
    14 God's Utility Function.Richard Dawkins - 1999 - In Eleonore Stump & Michael J. Murray (eds.), Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions. Blackwell. pp. 6--109.
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  45. added 2017-02-13
    Utility and Rights in Francis Hutci-Iesons's Ethical Theory.George Mousourakis - 1997 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 24 (4):527.
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  46. added 2017-02-13
    Probability and Utility.John M. Vickers - 1993 - In J. Dubucs (ed.), Philosophy of Probability. Kluwer, Dordrecht. pp. 109--127.
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  47. added 2017-02-13
    Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility: Why and How They Are and Should Be Made.Peter J. Hammond - 1991 - In Jon Elster & John E. Roemer (eds.), Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being. Cambridge University Press. pp. 200--254.
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  48. added 2017-02-13
    Utility, Exchange, and Commensurability.Jonathan Baron - 1988 - Journal of Thought 23:111-131.
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  49. added 2017-02-13
    Preference, Utility, And.Dana Scott - 1963 - In D. Luce (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Psychology. John Wiley & Sons.. pp. 3--249.
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  50. added 2017-02-12
    Invariant Multiattribute Utility Functions.Ali E. Abbas - 2010 - Theory and Decision 68 (1-2):69-99.
    We present a method to characterize the preferences of a decision maker in decisions with multiple attributes. The approach modifies the outcomes of a multivariate lottery with a multivariate transformation and observes the change in the decision maker’s certain equivalent. If the certain equivalent follows this multivariate transformation, we refer to this situation as multiattribute transformation invariance, and we derive the functional form of the utility function. We then show that any additive or multiplicative utility function that is formed of (...)
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