Nozick, Ramsey, and symbolic utility

Utilitas 20 (3):301-322 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

I explore a connection between Robert Nozick's account of decision value/symbolic utility in The Nature of Rationality and F. P. Ramsey's discussion of ethically neutral propositions in his 1926 essay , a discussion that Brian Skyrms in Choice and Chance credits with disclosing deeper foundations for expected utility than the celebrated Theory of Games and Economic Behavior of von Neumann and Morgenstern. Ramsey's recognition of ethically non-neutral propositions is essential to his foundational work, and the similarity of these propositions to symbolic utility helps make the case that the latter belongs to the apparatus that constructs expected utility, rather than being reducible to it or being part of a proposal that can be cheerfully ignored. I conclude that decision value replaces expected utility as the central idea in (normative) decision theory. Expected utility becomes an approximation that is good enough when symbolic utility is not at stake

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,261

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Parfit, heroic death, and symbolic utility.Wesley Cooper - 2002 - Journal of Social Philosophy 33 (2):221–239.
Are Impossible Goals Rational?Armando Cíntora - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9:113-119.
Probability and Partial Belief.Frank Plumpton Ramsey - 1961 - In John Langshaw Austin (ed.), Philosophical Papers. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. pp. 95-96.
On the Ramsey property for sets of reals.Ilias G. Kastanas - 1983 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 48 (4):1035-1045.
Ideals of nowhere Ramsey sets are isomorphic.Szymon Plewik - 1994 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 59 (2):662-667.
A new proof that analytic sets are Ramsey.Erik Ellentuck - 1974 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 39 (1):163-165.
Mathias absoluteness and the Ramsey property.Lorenz Halbeisen & Haim Judah - 1996 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 61 (1):177-194.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
119 (#151,720)

6 months
8 (#370,225)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Nature of Rationality.Robert Nozick - 1993 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 186 (1):187-189.
The Logic of Decision.Henry E. Kyberg - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (2):250.
Choices: An Introduction to Decision Theory.Michael D. Resnik - 1990 - Behavior and Philosophy 18 (2):73-78.

View all 6 references / Add more references