On the regress problem of deciding how to decide

Synthese 191 (4):661-670 (2014)

Hanti Lin
Carnegie Mellon University
Any decision is made in some way or another. Which way? (Have I worked out enough alternatives to choose from? Which decision rule to apply?) That is a higher-order decision problem, to be dealt with in some way or other. Which way? That is an even higher-order decision problem. There seems to be a regress of decision problems toward higher and higher orders. But in daily life we stop moving to higher-order decision problems—stop the regress—at some finite point. The regress problem of deciding how to decide is the problem of explaining what would make it rational to stop the regress. I will give a new solution in the present paper. The result suggests a new way of looking at standard Bayesian theory and the more recent theory of adaptive rationality.
Keywords Rational choice  Bayesian theory of rationality  Adaptive rationality  Bounded rationality  Deliberation costs  Deciding how to decide  Externalism  Internalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0398-1
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References found in this work BETA

The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1959 - Synthese 11 (1):86-89.
Foundations of Everyday Practical Reasoning.Hanti Lin - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (6):831-862.

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Deliberation, Reasons, and Alternatives.Justin Snedegar - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
Moral Priorities Under Risk.Chad Lee-Stronach - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):793-811.

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