Some counterexamples to causal decision theory

Philosophical Review 116 (1):93-114 (2007)

Abstract

Many philosophers (myself included) have been converted to causal decision theory by something like the following line of argument: Evidential decision theory endorses irrational courses of action in a range of examples, and endorses “an irrational policy of managing the news”. These are fatal problems for evidential decision theory. Causal decision theory delivers the right results in the troublesome examples, and does not endorse this kind of irrational news-managing. So we should give up evidential decision theory, and be causal decision theorists instead. Unfortunately, causal decision theory has its own family of problematic examples for which it endorses irrational courses of action, and its own irrational policy that it is committed to endorsing. These are, I think, fatal problems for causal decision theory. I wish that I had another theory to offer in its place.

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Andy Egan
Rutgers University - New Brunswick

References found in this work

The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - New York, NY, USA: University of Chicago Press.
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What Conditional Probability Could Not Be.Alan Hájek - 2003 - Synthese 137 (3):273--323.
Causal Decision Theory.David Lewis - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.

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Citations of this work

Epistemic Decision Theory.Hilary Greaves - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):915-952.
Why Take Both Boxes?Jack Spencer & Ian Wells - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):27-48.
Causal Decision Theory and Decision Instability.Brad Armendt - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (5):263-277.

View all 71 citations / Add more citations

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