A rational route to transformative decisions

Synthese 199 (5-6):14535-14553 (2021)
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According to Paul, transformative experiences pose a challenge to decision theory since their value cannot be anticipated. Building on Pettigrew’s Becoming someone new: essays on transformative experience, choice, and change, Oxford University Press, pp 100–121, 2020) redescription, this paper presents a new approach to how and when transformative decisions can nevertheless be made rationally. Thanks to fundamental higher-order facts that apply to any kind of experience, an agent always at least knows the general shape of the utility space. This in combination with the knowledge about the non-transformative alternative in the choice set can enable rational decision-making despite the presence of a transformative experience. For example, this paper’s approach provides novel arguments for why gender transition :419–440, 2015) or staying childfree :775–786, 2015) can be rational.



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References found in this work

Transformative Experience.Laurie Ann Paul - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
Choices, Values, and Frames.Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky (eds.) - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
What You Can't Expect When You're Expecting'.L. A. Paul - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):1-23.
Transformative Experience and Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):766-774.

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