Expected choiceworthiness and fanaticism

Philosophical Studies 181 (5) (2024)
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Abstract

Maximize Expected Choiceworthiness (MEC) is a theory of decision-making under moral uncertainty. It says that we ought to handle moral uncertainty in the way that Expected Value Theory (EVT) handles descriptive uncertainty. MEC inherits from EVT the problem of fanaticism. Roughly, a decision theory is fanatical when it requires our decision-making to be dominated by low-probability, high-payoff options. Proponents of MEC have offered two main lines of response. The first is that MEC should simply import whatever are the best solutions to fanaticism on offer in decision theory. The second is to propose statistical normalization as a novel solution on behalf of MEC. This paper argues that the first response is open to serious doubt and that the second response fails. As a result, MEC appears significantly less plausible when compared to competing accounts of decision-making under moral uncertainty, which are not fanatical.

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Calvin Baker
Princeton University

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References found in this work

Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
Moral Uncertainty.William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist & Toby Ord - 2020 - Oxford University Press.

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