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The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation

Harvard University Press (1990)

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  1. Epistemic Values and the Value of Learning.Wayne Myrvold - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):547-568.
    In addition to purely practical values, cognitive values also figure into scientific deliberations. One way of introducing cognitive values is to consider the cognitive value that accrues to the act of accepting a hypothesis. Although such values may have a role to play, such a role does not exhaust the significance of cognitive values in scientific decision-making. This paper makes a plea for consideration of epistemic value —that is, value attaching to a state of belief—and defends the notion of cognitive (...)
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  • Belief and the Problem of Ulysses and the Sirens.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (1):7-37.
    This is surely a bit of Socrates' famous irony. He draws the analogy to explain how his friends should regard poetry as they regretfully banish it from the ideal state. But lovers were no more sensible then than they are now. The advice to banish poetry, undermined already by Plato's own delight and skill in drama, is perhaps undermined still further by this evocation of a 'sensible' lover who counts love so well lost. Yet Socrates' image is one of avowed (...)
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  • Causation: An Alternative.Wolfgang Spohn - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):93-119.
    The paper builds on the basically Humean idea that A is a cause of B iff A and B both occur, A precedes B, and A raises the metaphysical or epistemic status of B given the obtaining circumstances. It argues that in pursuit of a theory of deterministic causation this ‘status raising’ is best explicated not in regularity or counterfactual terms, but in terms of ranking functions. On this basis, it constructs a rigorous theory of deterministic causation that successfully deals (...)
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  • 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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  • An Introduction to Dynamo: Diagrams for Evolutionary Game Dynamics. [REVIEW]Francisco Franchetti & William H. Sandholm - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (2):167-178.
    Dynamo: Diagrams for Evolutionary Game Dynamics is free, open-source software used to create phase diagrams and other images related to dynamical systems from evolutionary game theory. We describe how to use the software’s default settings to generate phase diagrams quickly and easily. We then explain how to take advantage of the software’s intermediate and advanced features to create diagrams that highlight the key properties of the dynamical system under study. Sample code and output are provided to help demonstrate the software’s (...)
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  • Regret and Instability in Causal Decision Theory.James M. Joyce - 2012 - Synthese 187 (1):123-145.
    Andy Egan has recently produced a set of alleged counterexamples to causal decision theory in which agents are forced to decide among causally unratifiable options, thereby making choices they know they will regret. I show that, far from being counterexamples, CDT gets Egan's cases exactly right. Egan thinks otherwise because he has misapplied CDT by requiring agents to make binding choices before they have processed all available information about the causal consequences of their acts. I elucidate CDT in a way (...)
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  • Game Theory and the History of Ideas About Rationality: An Introductory Survey.Ann E. Cudd - 1993 - Economics and Philosophy 9 (1):101.
    Although it may seem from its formalism that game theory must have sprung from the mind of John von Neumann as a corollary of his work on computers or theoretical physics, it should come as no real surprise to philosophers that game theory is the articulation of a historically developing philosophical conception of rationality in thought and action. The history of ideas about rationality is deeply contradictory at many turns. While there are theories of rationality that claim it is fundamentally (...)
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  • The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure.Robert van Rooij - 2007 - Studia Logica 85 (1):133-138.
  • Social Deliberation: Nash, Bayes, and the Partial Vindication of Gabriele Tarde.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2009 - Episteme 6 (2):164-184.
    At the very end of the 19th century, Gabriele Tarde wrote that all society was a product of imitation and innovation. This view regarding the development of society has, to a large extent, fallen out of favour, and especially so in those areas where the rational actor model looms large. I argue that this is unfortunate, as models of imitative learning, in some cases, agree better with what people actually do than more sophisticated models of learning. In this paper, I (...)
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  • 'The Kinematics of Belief and Desire.Richard Bradley - 2002 - 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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  • A New Problem with Mixed Decisions, Or: You’Ll Regret Reading This Article, But You Still Should.Benjamin Plommer - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):349-373.
    Andy Egan recently drew attention to a class of decision situations that provide a certain kind of informational feedback, which he claims constitute a counterexample to causal decision theory. Arntzenius and Wallace have sought to vindicate a form of CDT by describing a dynamic process of deliberation that culminates in a “mixed” decision. I show that, for many of the cases in question, this proposal depends on an incorrect way of calculating expected utilities, and argue that it is therefore unsuccessful. (...)
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  • The Informal Game Theory in Hume's Account of Convention.Peter Vanderschraaf - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):215.
    Hume is rightly credited with giving a brilliant, and perhaps the best, account of justice as convention. Hume's importance as a forerunner of modern economics has also long been recognized. However, most of Hume's readers have not fully appreciated how closely Hume's analysis of convention foreshadows a particular branch of economic theory, namely, game theory. Starting with the work of Barry, Runciman and Sen and Lewis, there has been a flowering of literature on the informal game-theoretic insights to be found (...)
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  • Self‐Reinforcing and Self‐Frustrating Decisions.Caspar Hare & Brian Hedden - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):604-628.
  • A Non-Probabilist Principle of Higher-Order Reasoning.William Talbott - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    The author uses a series of examples to illustrate two versions of a new, nonprobabilist principle of epistemic rationality, the special and general versions of the metacognitive, expected relative frequency principle. These are used to explain the rationality of revisions to an agent’s degrees of confidence in propositions based on evidence of the reliability or unreliability of the cognitive processes responsible for them—especially reductions in confidence assignments to propositions antecedently regarded as certain—including certainty-reductions to instances of the law of excluded (...)
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  • Local Interactions and the Dynamics of Rational Deliberation.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):103-121.
    Whereas The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure supplements Evolution of the Social Contract by examining some of the earlier work’s strategic problems in a local interaction setting, no equivalent supplement exists for The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation . In this article, I develop a general framework for modeling the dynamics of rational deliberation in a local interaction setting. In doing so, I show that when local interactions are permitted, three interesting phenomena occur: (a) the attracting deliberative equilibria (...)
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  • The Weights of Evidence.Dale A. Nance - 2008 - Episteme 5 (3):pp. 267-281.
    Interest in the Keynesian concept of evidential weight has led to divergent views concerning the burden of proof in adjudication. It is argued that Keynes's concept is properly engaged only in the context of one special kind of decision, the decision whether or not the evidence is ripe for a decision on the underlying merits, whether the latter decision is based on probability, relative plausibility, coherence or otherwise. As a general matter, this question of ripeness is appropriately assigned to the (...)
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  • Varieties of Epistemic Freedom.Alison Fernandes - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):1-16.
    When we deliberate about what to do, we appear to be free to decide on different options. Three accounts use ordinary beliefs to explain this apparent freedom—appealing to different types of ‘epistemic freedom’. When an agent has epistemic freedom, her evidence while deliberating does not determine what decision she makes. This ‘epistemic gap’ between her evidence and decision explains why her decision appears free. The varieties of epistemic freedom appealed to might look similar. But there is an important difference. Two (...)
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  • Lost Memories and Useless Coins: Revisiting the Absentminded Driver.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):3011-3036.
    The puzzle of the absentminded driver combines an unstable decision problem with a version of the Sleeping Beauty problem. Its analysis depends on the choice between “halfing” and “thirding” as well as that between “evidential” and “causal” decision theory. I show that all four combinations lead to interestingly different solutions, and draw some general lessons about the formulation of causal decision theory, the interpretation of mixed strategies and the connection between rational credence and objective chance.
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  • Ratifiability and the Logic of Decision1.Brian Skyrms - 1990 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 15 (1):44-56.
  • Epistemic Logic and Epistemology: The State of Their Affairs.Johan van Benthem - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (1):49 - 76.
    Epistemology and epistemic logic At first sight, the modern agenda of epistemology has little to do with logic. Topics include different definitions of knowledge, its basic formal properties, debates between externalist and internalist positions, and above all: perennial encounters with sceptics lurking behind every street corner, especially in the US. The entry 'Epistemology' in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Klein 1993) and the anthology (Kim and Sosa 2000) give an up-to-date impression of the field. Now, epistemic logic started as a (...)
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  • Probabilities of Conditionals in Context.Justin Khoo - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (1):1-43.
    The Ramseyan thesis that the probability of an indicative conditional is equal to the corresponding conditional probability of its consequent given its antecedent is both widely confirmed and subject to attested counterexamples (e.g., McGee 2000, Kaufmann 2004). This raises several puzzling questions. For instance, why are there interpretations of conditionals that violate this Ramseyan thesis in certain contexts, and why are they otherwise very rare? In this paper, I raise some challenges to Stefan Kaufmann's account of why the Ramseyan thesis (...)
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  • Modern and Postmodern Challenges to Game Theory.Yanis Varoufakis - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (3):371 - 404.
    Equilibrium game theory borrows from neoclassical economics its rationality concept which it immediately puts to work in order to produce the basic results it needs for building an elaborate narrative of social interaction. This paper focuses on some recent objections to game theory's use of rationality assumptions in general, and of backward induction and subgame perfection in particular, and interprets them in the light of the postmodern critique of the grand meta-narratives which social theorists often rely on for social explanation. (...)
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  • The Logic of Empirical Theories Revisited.Johan van Benthem - 2012 - Synthese 186 (3):775-792.
    Logic and philosophy of science share a long history, though contacts have gone through ups and downs. This paper is a brief survey of some major themes in logical studies of empirical theories, including links to computer science and current studies of rational agency. The survey has no new results: we just try to make some things into common knowledge.
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  • Act Utilitarianism and Dynamic Deliberation.Daniel Hunter - 1994 - Erkenntnis 41 (1):1 - 35.
    Coordination problems, problems in which each agent's expected utility depends upon what other agents do, pose a problem for act utilitarianism. When the agents are act utilitarians and know of each other that they are so, they seem unable to achieve optimal outcomes in certain coordination problems. I examine various ways the act utilitarian might attempt to solve this problem, where act utilitarianism is interpreted within the framework of subjective expected utility theory. In particular, a new method for computing expected (...)
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  • Reflection and Self‐Trust.Aaron Bronfman - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):75-82.
    The Reflection principle expresses a kind of epistemic deference to one's future self. There is a plausible intuitive argument to the effect that, if one believes one will reason well and gain information over time, then one ought to satisfy Reflection. There are also associated formal arguments that show that, if one's beliefs about one's current and future selves meet certain criteria, then one is committed by the axioms of probability to satisfy Reflection. The formal arguments, however, rely on an (...)
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  • Are Newcomb Problems Really Decisions?James M. Joyce - 2007 - Synthese 156 (3):537-562.
    Richard Jeffrey long held that decision theory should be formulated without recourse to explicitly causal notions. Newcomb problems stand out as putative counterexamples to this ‘evidential’ decision theory. Jeffrey initially sought to defuse Newcomb problems via recourse to the doctrine of ratificationism, but later came to see this as problematic. We will see that Jeffrey’s worries about ratificationism were not compelling, but that valid ratificationist arguments implicitly presuppose causal decision theory. In later work, Jeffrey argued that Newcomb problems are not (...)
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  • The Nature of Probability.Patrick Suppes - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):89 - 102.
    The thesis of this article is that the nature of probability is centered on its formal properties, not on any of its standard interpretations. Section 2 is a survey of Bayesian applications. Section 3 focuses on two examples from physics that seem as completely objective as other physical concepts. Section 4 compares the conflict between subjective Bayesians and objectivists about probability to the earlier strident conflict in physics about the nature of force. Section 5 outlines a pragmatic approach to the (...)
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  • Conditioning Against the Grain.Stefan Kaufmann - 2004 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (6):583-606.
    This paper discusses counterexamples to the thesis that the probabilities of conditionals are conditional probabilities. It is argued that the discrepancy is systematic and predictable, and that conditional probabilities are crucially involved in the apparently deviant interpretations. Furthermore, the examples suggest that such conditionals have a less prominent reading on which their probability is in fact the conditional probability, and that the two readings are related by a simple step of abductive inference. Central to the proposal is a distinction between (...)
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  • The Pauper’s Problem: Chance, Foreknowledge and Causal Decision Theory.Adam Bales - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1497-1516.
    In a letter to Wlodek Rabinowicz, David Lewis introduced a decision scenario that he described as “much more problematic for decision theory than the Newcomb Problems”. This scenario, which involves an agent with foreknowledge of the outcome of some chance process, has received little subsequent attention. However, in one of the small number of discussions of such cases, Huw Price's Causation, Chance and the Rational Significance of Supernatural Evidence it has been argued that cases of this sort pose serious problems (...)
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  • It All Adds Up: The Dynamic Coherence of Radical Probabilism.S. L. Zabell - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S98-S103.
  • Curiosity Was Framed.Dennis Whitcomb - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):664-687.
    This paper explores the nature of curiosity from an epistemological point of view. First it motivates this exploration by explaining why epistemologists do and should care about what curiosity is. Then it surveys the relevant literature and develops a particular approach.
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  • Satan, Saint Peter and Saint Petersburg.Paul Bartha, John Barker & Alan Hájek - 2014 - Synthese 191 (4):629-660.
    We examine a distinctive kind of problem for decision theory, involving what we call discontinuity at infinity. Roughly, it arises when an infinite sequence of choices, each apparently sanctioned by plausible principles, converges to a ‘limit choice’ whose utility is much lower than the limit approached by the utilities of the choices in the sequence. We give examples of this phenomenon, focusing on Arntzenius et al.’s Satan’s apple, and give a general characterization of it. In these examples, repeated dominance reasoning (...)
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  • On the Use of Logic in Game Theory.Eric Pacuit - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):741-753.
    IntroductionA quick glance at the opening paragraphs in many of the classic logic textbooks reveals a common view: Logical methods highlight the reasoning patterns of a single agent engaged in some form of mathematical thinking.A sampling from my bookshelf: Shoenfield’s Mathematical Logic: “Logic is the study of reasoning; and mathematical logic is the study of the type of reasoning done by mathematicians”; Enderton’s A Mathematical Introduction of Logic: “Symbolic logic is a mathematical model of deductive thought”; and Chiswell and Hodges (...)
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  • Diachronic Coherence and Radical Probabilism.Brian Skyrms - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):959-968.
    The question of diachronic coherence, coherence of degrees of belief across time, is investigated within the context of Richard Jeffrey’s radical probabilism. Diachronic coherence is taken as fundamental, and coherence results for degrees of belief at a single time, such as additivity, are recovered only with additional assumptions. Additivity of probabilities of probabilities is seen to be less problematic than additivity of first-order probabilities. Without any assumed model of belief change, diachronic coherence applied to higher-order degrees of belief yields the (...)
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  • Punishment and the Strategic Structure of Moral Systems.Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):767–789.
    The problem of moral compliance is the problem of explaining how moral norms are sustained over extented stretches of time despite the existence of selfish evolutionary incentives that favor their violation. There are, broadly speaking, two kinds of solutions that have been offered to the problem of moral compliance, the reciprocity-based account and the punishment-based account. In this paper, I argue that though the reciprocity-based account has been widely endorsed by evolutionary theorists, the account is in fact deeply implausible. I (...)
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  • No Regrets, Or: Edith Piaf Revamps Decision Theory.Frank Arntzenius - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):277-297.
    I argue that standard decision theories, namely causal decision theory and evidential decision theory, both are unsatisfactory. I devise a new decision theory, from which, under certain conditions, standard game theory can be derived.
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  • It All Adds Up: The Dynamic Coherence of Radical Probabilism.S. L. Zabell - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S98-S103.
  • Convention as Correlated Equilibrium.Peter Vanderschraaf - 1995 - Erkenntnis 42 (1):65 - 87.
    Aconvention is a state in which agents coordinate their activity, not as the result of an explicit agreement, but because their expectations are aligned so that each individual believes that all will act so as to achieve coordination for mutual benefit. Since agents are said to follow a convention if they coordinate without explicit agreement, the notion raises fundamental questions: (1) Why do certain conventions remain stable over time?, and (2) How does a convention emerge in the first place? In (...)
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  • Ramsey, Truth, and Probability.S. L. Zabell - 1991 - Theoria 57 (3):211-238.
  • The Logic of Empirical Theories Revisited.Johan Benthem - 2012 - Synthese 186 (3):775 - 792.
    Logic and philosophy of science share a long history, though contacts have gone through ups and downs. This paper is a brief survey of some major themes in logical studies of empirical theories, including links to computer science and current studies of rational agency. The survey has no new results: we just try to make some things into common knowledge.
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  • Diachronic Coherence and Radical Probabilism.Brian Skyrms - 2009 - In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 253--261.
  • Knowledge, Belief and Counterfactual Reasoning in Games.Robert Stalnaker - 1996 - Economics and Philosophy 12 (2):133.
    Deliberation about what to do in any context requires reasoning about what will or would happen in various alternative situations, including situations that the agent knows will never in fact be realized. In contexts that involve two or more agents who have to take account of each others' deliberation, the counterfactual reasoning may become quite complex. When I deliberate, I have to consider not only what the causal effects would be of alternative choices that I might make, but also what (...)
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  • Arguments Against the Possibility of Perfect Rationality.Richard Reiner - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (3):373-89.
    Many different arguments against the possibility of perfect rationality have appeared in the literature, and these target several different conceptions of perfect rationality. It is not clear how these different conceptions of perfect rationality are related, nor is it clear how the arguments showing their impossibility are related, and it is especially unclear what the impossibility results show when taken together. This paper gives an exposition of the different conceptions of perfect rationality, an the various sorts of argument against them; (...)
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  • Constrained Maximization Reconsidered — an Elaboration and Critique of Gauthier's Modelling of Rational Cooperation in a Single Prisoner's Dilemma.Maarten Franssen - 1994 - Synthese 101 (2):249 - 272.
    Gauthier's argument for constrained maximization, presented inMorals by Agreement, is perfected by taking into account the possibility of accidental exploitation and discussing the limitations on the values of the parameters which measure the translucency of the actors. Gauthier's argument is nevertheless shown to be defective concerning the rationality of constrained maximization as a strategic choice. It can be argued that it applies only to a single actor entering a population of individuals who are themselves not rational actors but simple rule-followers. (...)
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  • Endogenous Correlated Equilibria in Noncooperative Games.Peter Vanderschraaf - 1995 - Theory and Decision 38 (1):61-84.
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  • Learning Experiences and the Value of Knowledge.Simon M. Huttegger - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):279-288.
    Generalized probabilistic learning takes place in a black-box where present probabilities lead to future probabilities by way of a hidden learning process. The idea that generalized learning can be partially characterized by saying that it doesn’t foreseeably lead to harmful decisions is explored. It is shown that a martingale principle follows for finite probability spaces.
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