Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1769-1800 (2020)

Jack Spencer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Consequentialists often assume rational monism: the thesis that options are always made rationally permissible by the maximization of the selfsame quantity. This essay argues that consequentialists should reject rational monism and instead accept rational pluralism: the thesis that, on different occasions, options are made rationally permissible by the maximization of different quantities. The essay then develops a systematic form of rational pluralism which, unlike its rivals, is capable of handling both the Newcomb problems that challenge evidential decision theory and the unstable problems that challenge causal decision theory
Keywords rationality  consequentialism  decision theory  rational choice  causal decision theory  newcomb's problem
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.1007/s11098-020-01509-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - New York, NY, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.John Von Neumann & Oskar Morgenstern - 1944 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

View all 74 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Escaping the Cycle.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):99-127.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rationality Revisited.Reed Richter - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
Rational Choice and Expected Utility.Reed Brannon Richter - 1985 - Dissertation, University of California, Irvine
Gandalf’s Solution to the Newcomb Problem.Ralph Wedgwood - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2643–2675.
Taking Chances: Essays on Rational Choice.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1994 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Decision-Theoretic Pluralism.Adam Bales - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):801-818.
Success-First Decision Theories.Preston Greene - 2018 - In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Newcomb's Problem. Cambridge University Press. pp. 115–137.
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.
Causal Decision Theory.David Lewis - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
A Critique of Benchmark Theory.Robert Bassett - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):241-267.


Added to PP index

Total views
339 ( #31,235 of 2,520,894 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
31 ( #28,412 of 2,520,894 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes