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  1. Action and Existence: A Case for Agent Causation.James Swindal - 2011 - London and Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Introduction : action, thought, pragmatism -- Neo-pragmatism and its critics -- Methodology : reconstructive dialectics -- A history of action theory -- Defining actions -- The explanation of action -- A material explication of agency -- Agency and existence.
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  • Rationality & Second‐Order Preferences.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):196-215.
    It seems natural to think of an unwilling addict as having a pattern of preferences that she does not endorse—preferences that, in some sense, she does not ‘identify’ with. Following Frankfurt (1971), Jeffrey (1974) proposed a way of modeling those features of an agent’s preferences by appealing to preferences among preferences.Th„e addict’s preferences are preferences she does not prefer to have. I argue that this modeling suggestion will not do, for it follows from plausible assumptions that a minimally rational agent (...)
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  • Why Take Both Boxes?Jack Spencer & Ian Wells - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):27-48.
    The crucial premise of the standard argument for two-boxing in Newcomb's problem, a causal dominance principle, is false. We present some counterexamples. We then offer a metaethical explanation for why the counterexamples arise. Our explanation reveals a new and superior argument for two-boxing, one that eschews the causal dominance principle in favor of a principle linking rational choice to guidance and actual value maximization.
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  • Agentive Free Choice.Melissa Fusco - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-31.
    The Free Choice effect---whereby <>(p or q) seems to entail both <>p and <>q---has traditionally been characterized as a phenomenon affecting the deontic modal "may". This paper presents an extension of the semantic account of free choice defended in Fusco (2015) to the agentive modal "can", the "can" which, intuitively, describes an agent's powers. -/- I begin by sketching a model of inexact ability, which grounds a modal approach to agency (Belnap & Perloff 1998; Belnap, Perloff, and Xu 2001) in (...)
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  • Options Must Be External.Justis Koon - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1175-1189.
    Brian Hedden has proposed that any successful account of options for the subjective “ought” must satisfy two constraints: first, it must ensure that we are able to carry out each of the options available to us, and second, it should guarantee that the set of options available to us supervenes on our mental states. In this paper I show that, due to the ever-present possibility of Frankfurt-style cases, these two constraints jointly entail that no agent has any options at any (...)
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  • Agential Free Choice.Melissa Fusco - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (1):57-87.
    The Free Choice effect—whereby \\) seems to entail both \ and \—has traditionally been characterized as a phenomenon affecting the deontic modal ‘may’. This paper presents an extension of the semantic account of free choice defended by Fusco to the agentive modal ‘can’, the ‘can’ which, intuitively, describes an agent’s powers. On this account, free choice is a nonspecific de re phenomenon that—unlike typical cases—affects disjunction. I begin by sketching a model of inexact ability, which grounds a modal approach to (...)
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  • Objects of Choice.Wolfgang Schwarz - forthcoming - Mind.
    Rational agents are supposed to maximize expected utility. But what are the options from which they choose? I outline some constraints on an adequate representation of an agent’s options. The options should, for example, contain no information of which the agent is unsure. But they should be sufficiently rich to distinguish all available acts from one another. These demands often come into conflict, so that there seems to be no adequate representation of the options at all. After reviewing existing proposals (...)
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  • Decision Theory, Intelligent Planning and Counterfactuals.Michael John Shaffer - 2008 - Minds and Machines 19 (1):61-92.
    The ontology of decision theory has been subject to considerable debate in the past, and discussion of just how we ought to view decision problems has revealed more than one interesting problem, as well as suggested some novel modifications of classical decision theory. In this paper it will be argued that Bayesian, or evidential, decision-theoretic characterizations of decision situations fail to adequately account for knowledge concerning the causal connections between acts, states, and outcomes in decision situations, and so they are (...)
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  • Failed-Art and Failed Art-Theory.Christy Mag Uidhir - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):381-400.
    An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently 'almost' art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects 'failed-art' objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...)
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  • Failed-Art and Failed Art-Theory.Christopher Mag Uidhir - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):381-400.
    An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently ‘almost’ art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects ‘failed-art’ objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...)
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  • Can Strategic Reasoning Alone Account for the Formation of Social Norms?James Swindal - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (2):363-371.
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  • Can Strategic Reasoning Alone Account for the Formation of Social Norms?James Swindal - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (2):363-371.
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  • Options and the Subjective Ought.Brian Hedden - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):343-360.
    Options and the subjective ought Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-18 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9880-0 Authors Brian Hedden, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  • An Argument Against Causal Decision Theory.Jack Spencer - 2021 - Analysis 81 (1):52-61.
    This paper develops an argument against causal decision theory. I formulate a principle of preference, which I call the Guaranteed Principle. I argue that the preferences of rational agents satisfy the Guaranteed Principle, that the preferences of agents who embody causal decision theory do not, and hence that causal decision theory is false.
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  • Plans And Decisions.John L. Pollock - 2004 - Theory and Decision 57 (2):79-107.
    Counterexamples are constructed for classical decision theory, turning on the fact that actions must often be chosen in groups rather than individually, i.e., the objects of rational choice are plans. It is argued that there is no way to define optimality for plans that makes the finding of optimal plans the desideratum of rational decision-making. An alternative called “locally global planning” is proposed as a replacement for classical decision theory. Decision-making becomes a non-terminating process without a precise target rather than (...)
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  • Equal Opportunity and Newcomb’s Problem.Ian Wells - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):429-457.
    The 'Why ain'cha rich?' argument for one-boxing in Newcomb's problem allegedly vindicates evidential decision theory and undermines causal decision theory. But there is a good response to the argument on behalf of causal decision theory. I develop this response. Then I pose a new problem and use it to give a new 'Why ain'cha rich?' argument. Unlike the old argument, the new argument targets evidential decision theory. And unlike the old argument, the new argument is sound.
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  • A Resource-Bounded Agent Addresses the Newcomb Problem.John L. Pollock - 2010 - Synthese 176 (1):57-82.
    In the Newcomb problem, the standard arguments for taking either one box or both boxes adduce what seem to be relevant considerations, but they are not complete arguments, and attempts to complete the arguments rely upon incorrect principles of rational decision making. It is argued that by considering how the predictor is making his prediction, we can generate a more complete argument, and this in turn supports a form of causal decision theory.
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  • Are Plans Necessary?Michael McDermott - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):225-232.
    According to classical decision theory, an agent realises at time t the option with maximum expected utility (determined by his beliefs and desires at t), where the relevant options are possible actions performed at t. I consider an alternative according to which the relevant options are in general plans, complex courses of action extending into the future.
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