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Johanna Thoma
London School of Economics
  1.  62
    The Epistemic Division of Labor Revisited.Johanna Thoma - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):454-472.
    Some scientists are happy to follow in the footsteps of others; some like to explore novel approaches. It is tempting to think that herein lies an epistemic division of labor conducive to overall scientific progress: the latter point the way to fruitful areas of research, and the former more fully explore those areas. Weisberg and Muldoon’s model, however, suggests that it would be best if all scientists explored novel approaches. I argue that this is due to implausible modeling choices, and (...)
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  2. Risk Aversion and the Long Run.Johanna Thoma - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):230-253.
    This article argues that Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory fails to offer a true alternative to expected utility theory. Under commonly held assumptions about dynamic choice and the framing of decision problems, rational agents are guided by their attitudes to temporally extended courses of action. If so, REU theory makes approximately the same recommendations as expected utility theory. Being more permissive about dynamic choice or framing, however, undermines the theory’s claim to capturing a steady choice disposition in the face (...)
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  3.  84
    Decision Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 57-106.
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  4.  21
    Risk Writ Large.Johanna Thoma & Jonathan Weisberg - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2369-2384.
    Risk-weighted expected utility theory is motivated by small-world problems like the Allais paradox, but it is a grand-world theory by nature. And, at the grand-world level, its ability to handle the Allais paradox is dubious. The REU model described in Risk and Rationality turns out to be risk-seeking rather than risk-averse on one natural way of formulating the Allais gambles in the grand-world context. This result illustrates a general problem with the case for REU theory, we argue. There is a (...)
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  5.  11
    Judgementalism About Normative Decision Theory.Johanna Thoma - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Judgementalism is an interpretation of normative decision theory according to which preferences are all-things-considered judgements of relative desirability, and the only attitudes that rationally constrain choice. The defence of judgementalism we find in Richard Bradley’s Decision Theory with a Human Face relies on a kind of internalism about the requirements of rationality, according to which they supervene on an agent’s mental states, and in particular those she can reason from. I argue that even if we grant such internalism, attitudes other (...)
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  6. Instrumental Rationality Without Separability.Johanna Thoma - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    This paper argues that instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory. The most compelling instrumentalist argument in favour of separability, its core requirement, is that agents with non-separable preferences end up badly off by their own lights in some dynamic choice problems. I argue that once we focus on the question of whether agents' attitudes to uncertain prospects help define their ends in their own right, or instead only assign instrumental value in virtue of the outcomes they may (...)
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  7.  38
    On the Hidden Thought Experiments of Economic Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (2):129-146.
    Most papers in theoretical economics contain thought experiments. They take the form of more informal bits of reasoning that precede the presentation of the formal, mathematical models these papers are known for. These thought experiments differ from the formal models in various ways. In particular, they do not invoke the same idealized assumptions about the rationality, knowledge, and preferences of agents. The presence of thought experiments in papers that present formal models, and the fact that they differ from the formal (...)
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  8. Temptation and Preference-Based Instrumental Rationality.Johanna Thoma - 2018 - In Jose Luis Bermudez (ed.), Self-control, decision theory and rationality. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.
    In the dynamic choice literature, temptations are usually understood as temporary shifts in an agent’s preferences. What has been puzzling about these cases is that, on the one hand, an agent seems to do better by her own lights if she does not give into the temptation, and does so without engaging in costly commitment strategies. This seems to indicate that it is instrumentally irrational for her to give into temptation. On the other hand, resisting temptation also requires her to (...)
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  9.  26
    No Escape From Allais: Reply to Buchak.Johanna Thoma & Jonathan Weisberg - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
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  10. Jeroen Van Bouwel, Ed. 2009. The Social Sciences and Democracy (Johanna Thoma). [REVIEW]Johanna Thoma - 2012 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 27 (2):247-251.
  11.  11
    Negotiating with Myself.Johanna Thoma - 2016 - LSE Philosophy Blog.
    Can the concept of “temporal selves” help us understand temptation and restraint? Johanna Thoma on self-negotiation.
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  12.  42
    Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract.Johanna Thoma - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3335-3355.
    The question of what a group of rational agents would agree on were they to deliberate on how to organise society is central to all hypothetical social contract theories. If morality is to be based on a social contract, we need to know the terms of this contract. One type of social contract theory, contractarianism, aims to derive morality from rationality alone. Contractarians need to show, amongst other things, that rational and self-interested individuals would agree on an impartial division of (...)
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  13.  40
    The SAGE Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences by Ian Jarvie & Jesús Zamora-Bonilla, Eds. [REVIEW]Johanna Thoma - 2014 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 29 (2):311-315.
  14.  15
    Economics Rules, Dani Rodrik, W. W. Norton & Company, 2015, Xv + 253 Pages. [REVIEW]Johanna Thoma - 2018 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (1):127-133.
  15. Advice for the Steady: Decision Theory and the Requirements of Instrumental Rationality.Johanna Thoma - 2017 - Dissertation,
    Standard decision theory, or rational choice theory, is often interpreted to be a theory of instrumental rationality. This dissertation argues, however, that the core requirements of orthodox decision theory cannot be defended as general requirements of instrumental rationality. Instead, I argue that these requirements can only be instrumentally justified to agents who have a desire to have choice dispositions that are stable over time and across different choice contexts. Past attempts at making instrumentalist arguments for the core requirements of decision (...)
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