Consequentialism, rationality and the relevant description of outcomes

Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):181-205 (2001)
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Instrumental rationality requires that an agent selects those actions that give her the best outcomes. This is the principle of consequentialism. It may be that it is not the only requirement of this form of rationality. Considerations other than the outcomes may enter the picture as well. However, the outcome(s) of an action always play a role in determining its rationality. Seen in this light consequentialism is a minimum requirement of instrumental rationality. Therefore, any theory that tries to spell out the implications of instrumental rationality, in particular expected utility theory, should subscribe to the principle of consequentialism. Or so it seems



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Bruno Verbeek
Leiden University

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Has Game Theory Been Refuted?Francesco Guala - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (5):239-263.
1. Ulysses and the Sirens.Bruno Verbeek - 2007 - In Fabienne Peter (ed.), Rationality and Commitment. Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 150.

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