Bounded rationality and legal scholarship

Decision theory seems to offer a very attractive normative framework for individual and social choice under uncertainty. The decisionmaker should think of her choice situation, at any given moment, in terms of a set of possible outcomes, that is, specifications of the possible consequences of choice, described in light of the decisionmaker's goals; a set of possible actions; and a "state set" consisting of possible prior "states of the world." It is this framework for choice which provides the foundation for expected utility theory, as demonstrated in the work of Leonard Savage. Problems arise, however, when the decisionmaker is boundedly rational: when the mental process of thinking about outcomes, actions, and states is itself expensive and time consuming. In the case of the unboundedly rational decisionmaker, decision theory enjoins her to employ maximally specific outcomes; to consider all possible actions; and to use a set of mutually exclusive and collective exhaustive states, each of which is sufficiently finely specified so that each action, together with each state, yields one and only one maximally specific outcome. In the case of the boundedly rational decisionmaker, this procedure is either infeasible or, if feasible, irrational. This paper presents the problem of bounded rationality. It surveys possible solutions, none of which are found to be attractive. And it concludes by discussing the difficulties that the problem of bounded rationality poses for the welfarist program for legal scholarship presented by Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell in their book, Fairness versus Welfare.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

46 ( #105,566 of 1,925,039 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #107,538 of 1,925,039 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.