Representation theorems and the foundations of decision theory

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):641 - 663 (2011)
Authors
Christopher Meacham
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Jonathan Weisberg
University of Toronto, St. George
Abstract
Representation theorems are often taken to provide the foundations for decision theory. First, they are taken to characterize degrees of belief and utilities. Second, they are taken to justify two fundamental rules of rationality: that we should have probabilistic degrees of belief and that we should act as expected utility maximizers. We argue that representation theorems cannot serve either of these foundational purposes, and that recent attempts to defend the foundational importance of representation theorems are unsuccessful. As a result, we should reject these claims, and lay the foundations of decision theory on firmer ground
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2010.510529
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References found in this work BETA

The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
A Mathematical Theory of Evidence.Glenn Shafer - 1976 - Princeton University Press.
A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism.James M. Joyce - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.
What Are Degrees of Belief?Lina Eriksson & Alan Hájek - 2007 - Studia Logica 86 (2):185-215.

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Citations of this work BETA

Surreal Decisions.Eddy Keming Chen & Daniel Rubio - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
When Propriety Is Improper.Kevin Blackwell & Daniel Drucker - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
Imprecise Bayesianism and Global Belief Inertia.Aron Vallinder - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx033.
Risk, Rationality and Expected Utility Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):798-826.

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