Authors
Franz Dietrich
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Abstract
Maximising expected value is the classic doctrine in choice theory under empirical uncertainty, and a prominent proposal in the emerging philosophical literature on normative uncertainty, i.e., uncertainty about the standard of evaluation. But how should Expectationalism be stated in general, when we can face both uncertainties simultaneously, as is common in life? Surprisingly, different possibilities arise, ranging from Ex-Ante to Ex-Post Expectationalism, with several hybrid versions. The difference lies in the perspective from which expectations are taken, or equivalently the amount of uncertainty packed into the prospect evaluated. Expectationalism thus faces the classic dilemma between ex-ante and ex-post approaches, familiar elsewhere in ethics and aggregation theory under uncertainty. We analyse the spectrum of expectational theories, showing that they reach diverging evaluations, use different modes of reasoning, take different attitudes to normative risk as well as empirical risk, but converge under an interesting (necessary and sufficient) condition.
Keywords normative uncertainty  expected value  normative versus empirical uncertainty  ex ante versus ex post criteria
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References found in this work BETA

What to Do When You Don’T Know What to Do.Andrew Sepielli - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:5-28.
Normative Uncertainty.William MacAskill - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Oxford

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