Conditionals in causal decision theory

Synthese 190 (4):661-679 (2013)
Authors
John Cantwell
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Abstract
This paper explores the possibility that causal decision theory can be formulated in terms of probabilities of conditionals. It is argued that a generalized Stalnaker semantics in combination with an underlying branching time structure not only provides the basis for a plausible account of the semantics of indicative conditionals, but also that the resulting conditionals have properties that make them well-suited as a basis for formulating causal decision theory. Decision theory (at least if we omit the frills) is not an esoteric science, however unfamiliar it may seem to an outsider. Rather it is a systematic exposition of the consequences of certain well-chosen platitudes about belief, desire, preference and choice. It is the very core of our common-sense theory of persons, dissected out and elegantly systematized. (David Lewis, Synthese 23:331–344, 1974, p. 337). A small distortion in the analysis of the conditional may create spurious problems with the analysis of other concepts. So if the facts about usage favor one among a number of subtly different theories, it may be important to determine which one it is. (Robert Stalnaker, A Defense of Conditional Excluded Middle, pp. 87–104, 1980, p. 87)
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-012-0197-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
The Logic of Decision.Richard Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Causal Decision Theory.Ellery Eells - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:177 - 200.
Conditionals.Frank Jackson (ed.) - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
Rationality Revisited.Reed Richter - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
Causation and Conditionals.Ernest Sosa (ed.) - 1974 - Oxford University Press.
Embedded Conditionals as the Essence of Causality?Danilo Šuster - 2002 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):197-211.
Subjunctive Conditionals and Revealed Preference.Brian Skyrms - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):545-574.
Causal Decision Theory.David Lewis - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
Conditionals and the Logic of Decision.Richard Bradley - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):32.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-10-01

Total downloads
288 ( #15,494 of 2,293,848 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #40,073 of 2,293,848 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature