Philosophy of Science 57 (1):60-77 (1990)

Rational actions reflect beliefs and preferences in certain orderly ways. The problem of theory is to explain which beliefs and preferences are relevant to the rationality of particular actions, and exactly how they are relevant. One distinction of interest here is between an agent's beliefs and preferences just before an action's time, and his beliefs and preferences at its time. Theorists do not agree about the times of beliefs and desires that are relevant to the rationality of action. Another distinction is between actions that would, in one sense or another, maximize expected utilities given relevant beliefs and desires, and actions, decisions for which would, in one sense or another, be stable. There is disagreement about the relevance of these things to the rationality of actions. Here, in the first part below, several possible positions on these issues are explained and compared. In the second part, I contrast perspectives on these issues, and comment on arguments that might be brought against the position I favor. In the third part, I restate and elaborate on this position.
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DOI 10.1086/289531
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References found in this work BETA

Self-Doubts and Dutch Strategies.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1987 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):56 – 81.
Decision Instability.Paul Weirich - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63 (4):465 – 472.
Metatickles and the Dynamics of Deliberation.Ellery Eells - 1984 - Theory and Decision 17 (1):71-95.

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Citations of this work BETA

Backward-Induction Arguments: A Paradox Regained.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (1):114-133.
Stable and Retrievable Options.Wlodzimierz Rabinowicz - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (4):624-641.
Pascalian Wagers.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1996 - Synthese 108 (1):11 - 61.
Ratifiability and the Logic of Decision1.Brian Skyrms - 1990 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 15 (1):44-56.

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