The Predicament of Choice

In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 12. Oxford University Press. pp. 294-313 (2017)

Authors
Ralph Wedgwood
University of Southern California
Abstract
Normal agents in the actual world are limited: they cannot think about all the options that are available to them—or even about all options that are available to them according to their evidence. Moreover, agents cannot choose an option unless they have thought about that option. Such agents can be irrational in two ways: either by making their choice too quickly, without canvassing enough options, or by wasting time canvassing ever more options when they have already thought of enough options. This chapter proposes an account of this kind of rationality for limited agents. To be rational, such agents need a kind of background sensitivity to whether or not continuing to search for more options has greater expected value than deciding right away. According to this proposal, it is the unavoidable predicament of choice that all rational decision-making depends on the unconscious operation of mental dispositions.
Keywords rational choice  bounded rationality  expected value  probability  options  unconscious mental processes  creativity
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References found in this work BETA

Unprincipled Virtue.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - The Journal of Ethics 8 (2):201-204.
Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion of Rationality.Jon Elster - 1983 - Editions De La Maison des Sciences De L'Homme.
The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory. [REVIEW]Mirek Janusz - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (2):296-300.

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