Philosophical Explorations (forthcoming)
Suppose that rational choices are to be defined as choices that maximize some sort of expectation of some sort of value. What sort of value should this definition appeal to? According to a familiar neo-Humean view, the answer is ‘Utility’, where utility is defined as a measure of subjective preference. According to a rival neo-Aristotelian view, the answer is ‘Choiceworthiness’, where choiceworthiness is an irreducibly normative notion – the notion of an action that is good in a certain way. This paper argues against the neo-Humean answer, and in favour of the neo-Aristotelian answer. Various possible interpretations of what exactly a “preference” is are explored, to see if there is any interpretation that supports the claim that a rational agent’s “preferences” must satisfy the “axioms” that are necessary for measuring those preferences by means of a utility “function”. It is argued that the only interpretation that supports the idea that the rational agent’s preferences must meet these axioms interprets “preferences” as a kind of value-judgment. But this turns out to be version of the neo-Aristotelian view, rather than the neo-Humean view.
|Keywords||Rational choice expected utility preferences|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Why Rational Agents Should Not Be Liberal Maximizers.Isaac Levi - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (S1):1-17.
To Have One's Cake and Eat It, Too: Sequential Choice and Expected-Utility Violations.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 1995 - Journal of Philosophy 92 (11):586-620.
A Generalization of the Theory of Subjective Probability and Expected Utility.Robin Giles - 1992 - Synthese 90 (2):301 - 343.
A Theory of Rational Choice Under Ignorance.Klaus Nehring - 2000 - Theory and Decision 48 (3):205-240.
Mistakes About Preferences in the Social Sciences.D. M. Hausman - 2011 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (1):3-25.
Persons and the Satisfaction of Preferences: Problems in the Rational Kinematics of Values.Duncan Macintosh - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):163-180.
Preference's Progress: Rational Self-Alteration and the Rationality of Morality.Duncan MacIntosh - 1991 - Dialogue 30 (1991):3-32.
Implications of the Dutch Book: Following Ramsey’s Axioms.Wei Xiong - 2011 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (2):334-344.
Where Do Preferences Come From?Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2013 - International Journal of Game Theory 42 (3):613-637.
Rational Responsibility for Preferences and Moral Responsibility for Character Traits.Donald W. Bruckner - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:191-209.
Consequentialism and Rational Choice: Lessons From the Allais Paradox.Bruno Verbeek - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):86–116.
Utility Theory with Inexact Preferences and Degrees of Preference.Peter C. Fishburn - 1970 - Synthese 21 (2):204 - 221.
Revealed Preference and Expected Utility.Stephen A. Clark - 2000 - Theory and Decision 49 (2):159-174.
Representation Theorems and Realism About Degrees of Belief.Lyle Zynda - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):45-69.
Added to index2012-03-06
Total downloads133 ( #36,111 of 2,172,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)31 ( #9,322 of 2,172,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?