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Paul Weirich
University of Missouri, Columbia
  1.  66
    Realistic Decision Theory: Rules for Nonideal Agents in Nonideal Circumstances.Paul Weirich - 2004 - Oxford, England: Oup Usa.
    Within traditional decision theory, common decision principles - e.g. the principle to maximize utility -- generally invoke idealization; they govern ideal agents in ideal circumstances. In Realistic Decision Theory, Paul Weirch adds practicality to decision theory by formulating principles applying to nonideal agents in nonideal circumstances, such as real people coping with complex decisions. Bridging the gap between normative demands and psychological resources, Realistic Decision Theory is essential reading for theorists seeking precise normative decision principles that acknowledge the limits and (...)
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  2.  14
    Rational Responses to Risks.Paul Weirich - 2020 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    A philosophical account of risk, such as this book provides, states what risk is, which attitudes to it are rational, and which acts affecting risks are rational. Attention to the nature of risk reveals two types of risk, first, a chance of a bad event, and, second, an act’s risk in the sense of the volatility of its possible outcomes. The distinction is normatively significant because different general principles of rationality govern attitudes to these two types of risk. Rationality strictly (...)
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  3.  95
    Unsharp Sharpness.Nils-Eric Sahlin & Paul Weirich - 2014 - Theoria 80 (1):100-103.
    In a recent, thought-provoking paper Adam Elga argues against unsharp – e.g., indeterminate, fuzzy and unreliable – probabilities. Rationality demands sharpness, he contends, and this means that decision theories like Levi's, Gärdenfors and Sahlin's, and Kyburg's, though they employ different decision rules, face a common, and serious, problem. This article defends the rule to maximize minimum expected utility against Elga's objection.
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  4.  55
    Causal Decision Theory.Paul Weirich - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  5.  83
    Expected Utility and Risk.Paul Weirich - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (4):419-442.
    The rule to maximize expected utility is intended for decisions where options involve risk. In those decisions the decision maker's attitude toward risk is important, and the rule ought to take it into account. Allais's and Ellsberg's paradoxes, however, suggest that the rule ignores attitudes toward risk. This suggestion is supported by recent psychological studies of decisions. These studies present a great variety of cases where apparently rational people violate the rule because of aversion or attraction to risk. Here I (...)
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  6.  68
    Decision Instability.Paul Weirich - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63 (4):465 – 472.
    In some decision problems adoption of an option furnishes evidence about the option's consequences. Rational decisions take account of that evidence, although it makes an option's adoption changes the option's expected utility.
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  7.  1
    Decision Space: Multidimensional Utility Analysis.Paul Weirich - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    In Decision Space: Multidimensional Utility Analysis, first published in 2001, Paul Weirich increases the power and versatility of utility analysis and in the process advances decision theory. Combining traditional and novel methods of option evaluation into one systematic method of analysis, multidimensional utility analysis is a valuable tool. It provides formulations of important decision principles, such as the principle to maximize expected utility; enriches decision theory in solving recalcitrant decision problems; and provides in particular for the cases in which an (...)
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  8.  23
    Utility Tempered with Equality.Paul Weirich - 1983 - Noûs 17 (3):423-439.
  9. Conditional Utility and its Place in Decision Theory.Paul Weirich - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (11):702-715.
    Causal decision theory attends to probabilities used to obtain an option's expected utility but for completeness should also attend to utilities of possible outcomes. A suitable formula for an option's expected utility uses a certain type of conditional utility.
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  10. Hierarchical Maximization of Two Kinds of Expected Utility.Paul Weirich - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):560-582.
    Causal decision theory produces decision instability in cases such as Death in Damascus where a decision itself provides evidence concerning the utility of options. Several authors have proposed ways of handling this instability. William Harper (1985 and 1986) advances one of the most elegant proposals. He recommends maximizing causal expected utility among the options that are causally ratifiable. Unfortunately, Harper's proposal imposes certain restrictions; for instance, the restriction that mixed strategies are freely available. To obtain a completely general method of (...)
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  11.  63
    Economic Rationality.Paul Weirich - 2004 - In Alfred R. Mele & Piers Rawling (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oup Usa.
    Weirich examines three competing views entertained by economic theory about the instrumental rationality of decisions: the first says to maximize self-interest, the second to maximize utility, and the third to satisfice, that is, to adopt a satisfactory option. Critics argue that the first view is too narrow, that the second overlooks the benefits of teamwork and planning, and that the third, when carefully formulated, reduces to the second. Weirich defends a refined version of the principle to maximize utility. A broad (...)
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  12. Models of Decision-Making: Simplifying Choices.Paul Weirich - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    The options in a decision problem generally have outcomes with common features. Putting aside the common features simplifies deliberations, but the simplification requires a philosophical justification that this book provides.
     
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  13.  16
    Risk as a Consequence.Paul Weirich - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):293-303.
    Expected-utility theory advances representation theorems that do not take the risk an act generates as a consequence of the act. However, a principle of expected-utility maximization that explains the rationality of preferences among acts must, for normative accuracy, take the act’s risk as a consequence of the act if the agent cares about the risk. I defend this conclusion against the charge that taking an act’s consequences to comprehend all the agent cares about trivializes the principle of expected-utility maximization.
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  14.  85
    Belief and Acceptance.Paul Weirich - 2004 - In Ilkka Niiniluoto, Matti Sintonen & Jan Wolenski (eds.), Handbook of Epistemology. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic. pp. 499--520.
    The attitudes of belief and acceptance are similar but differ in important respects such as their relation to degree of belief.
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  15. Conditional Probabilities and Probabilities Given Knowledge of a Condition.Paul Weirich - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (1):82-95.
    The conditional probability of h given e is commonly claimed to be equal to the probability that h would have if e were learned. Here I contend that this general claim about conditional probabilities is false. I present a counter-example that involves probabilities of probabilities, a second that involves probabilities of possible future actions, and a third that involves probabilities of indicative conditionals. In addition, I briefly defend these counter-examples against charges that the probabilities they involve are illegitimate.
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  16. Mild Contraction: Evaluating Loss of Information Due to Loss of Belief.Paul Weirich - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):753-757.
    This book review describes and evaluates Issac Levi's views about belief revision.
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  17.  7
    Taking Chances: Essays on Rational Choice.Paul Weirich - 1995 - Ethics 106 (1):191-192.
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  18.  55
    Initiating Coordination.Paul Weirich - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):790-801.
    How do rational agents coordinate in a single-stage, noncooperative game? Common knowledge of the payoff matrix and of each player's utility maximization among his strategies does not suffice. This paper argues that utility maximization among intentions and then acts generates coordination yielding a payoff-dominant Nash equilibrium. ‡I thank the audience at my paper's presentation at the 2006 PSA meeting for many insightful points. †To contact the author, please write to: Philosophy Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; e-mail: [email protected]
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  19.  22
    Collective Rationality: Equilibrium in Cooperative Games.Paul Weirich - 2009 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press USA.
    Groups of people perform acts that are subject to standards of rationality. A committee may sensibly award fellowships, or may irrationally award them in violation of its own policies. A theory of collective rationality defines collective acts that are evaluable for rationality and formulates principles for their evaluation. This book argues that a group's act is evaluable for rationality if it is the products of acts its members fully control. It also argues that such an act is collectively rational if (...)
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  20.  70
    The St. Petersburg Gamble and Risk.Paul Weirich - 1984 - Theory and Decision 17 (2):193-202.
    One resolution of the St. Petersburg paradox recognizes that a gamble carries a risk sensitive to the gamble's stakes. If aversion to risk increases sufficiently fast as stakes go up, the St. Petersburg gamble has a finite utility.
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  21.  55
    Risk's Place in Decision Rules.Paul Weirich - 2001 - Synthese 126 (3):427-441.
    To handle epistemic and pragmatic risks, Gärdenfors and Sahlin design a decision procedure for cases in which probabilities are indeterminate. Their procedure steps outside the traditional expected utility framework. Must it do this? Can the traditional framework handle risk? This paper argues that it can. The key is a comprehensive interpretation of an option's possible outcomes. Taking possible outcomes more broadly than Gärdenfors and Sahlin do, expected utility can give risk its due. In particular, Good's decision procedure adequately handles indeterminate (...)
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  22.  60
    Interpersonal Utility in Principles of Social Choice.Paul Weirich - 1984 - Erkenntnis 21 (3):295 - 317.
    This paper summarizes and rebuts the three standard objections made by social choice theorists against interpersonal utility. The first objection argues that interpersonal utility is measningless. I show that this objection either focuses on irrelevant kinds of meaning or else uses implausible criteria of meaningfulness. The second objection argues that interpersonal utility has no role to play in social choice theory. I show that on the contrary interpersonal utility is useful in formulating goals for social choice. The third objection argues (...)
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  23.  1
    Equilibrium and Rationality: Game Theory Revised by Decision Rules.Paul Weirich - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book represents a major contribution to game theory. It offers this conception of equilibrium in games: strategic equilibrium. This conception arises from a study of expected utility decision principles, which must be revised to take account of the evidence a choice provides concerning its outcome. The argument for these principles distinguishes reasons for action from incentives, and draws on contemporary analyses of counterfactual conditionals. The book also includes a procedure for identifying strategic equilibria in ideal normal-form games. In synthesizing (...)
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  24.  38
    A Decision Maker's Options.Paul Weirich - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 44 (2):175 - 186.
    An agent's options in a decision problem are best understood as the decisions that the agent might make. Taking options this way eliminates the gap between an option's adoption and its execution.
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  25.  70
    Utility and Framing.Paul Weirich - 2010 - Synthese 176 (1):83 - 103.
    Standard principles of rational decision assume that an option's utility is both comprehensive and accessible. These features constrain interpretations of an option's utility. This essay presents a way of understanding utility and laws of utility. It explains the relation between an option's utility and its outcome's utility and argues that an option's utility is relative to a specification of the option. Utility's relativity explains how a decision problem's framing affects an option's utility and its rationality even for an agent who (...)
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  26.  13
    A Bias of Rationality.Paul Weirich - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):31 – 37.
  27.  23
    Decisions Without Sharp Probabilities.Paul Weirich - 2015 - Philosophia Scientiae 19:213-225.
    Adam Elga [Elga 2010] argues that no principle of rationality leads from unsharp probabilities to decisions. He concludes that a perfectly rational agent does not have unsharp probabilities. This paper defends unsharp probabilities. It shows how unsharp probabilities may ground rational decisions.
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  28.  30
    Rousseau on Proportional Majority Rule.Paul Weirich - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (1):111-126.
  29.  16
    Decisions in Dynamic Settings.Paul Weirich - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:438 - 449.
    In a decision problem with a dynamic setting there is at least one option whose realization would change the expected utilities of options by changing the probability or utility function with respect to which the expected utilities of options are computed. A familiar example is Newcomb's problem. William Harper proposes a generalization of causal decision theory intended to cover all decision problems with dynamic settings, not just Newcomb's problem. His generalization uses Richard Jeffrey's ideas on ratifiability, and material from game (...)
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  30.  10
    Decisions Without Sharp Probabilities.Paul Weirich - 2015 - Philosophia Scientae 19:213-225.
  31.  60
    Collective Acts.Paul Weirich - 2012 - Synthese 187 (1):223-241.
    Groups of people perform acts. For example, a committee passes a resolution, a team wins a game, and an orchestra performs a symphony. These collective acts may be evaluated for rationality. Take a committee’s passing a resolution. This act may be evaluated not only for fairness but also for rationality. Did it take account of all available information? Is the resolution consistent with the committee’s past resolutions? Standards of collective rationality apply to collective acts, that is, acts that groups of (...)
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  32.  55
    Book ReviewKen Binmore,. Just Playing: Game Theory and the Social Contract, Volume 2. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1998. Pp. Xxiii + 589. $50.00. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 2001 - Ethics 111 (4):794-797.
  33.  37
    Introduction: Interactive Epistemology.Paul Weirich - 2011 - Episteme 8 (3):201-208.
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  34.  16
    Decision When Desires Are Uncertain.Paul Weirich - 1981 - Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 3:69-75.
    An agent in a decision problem may not know the goals that should guide selection of an option. Accommodating this ignorance require methods that supplement expected utility theory.
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  35. Preference.Paul Weirich - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Decision theory relies on an account of preference. Some accounts are behaviorist and others are mentalistic. The account used affects the explanatory power of decision theory.
     
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  36. Mark Kaplan, Decision Theory as Philosophy. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 1996 - Philosophy in Review 16 (3):179-180.
    Mark Kaplan proposes amending decision theory to accommodate better cases in which an agent's probability assignment is imprecise. The review describes and evaluates his proposals.
     
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  37.  18
    Book Review:Taking Chances: Essays on Rational Choice. Jordan Howard Sobel. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 1995 - Ethics 106 (1):191-.
    J. Howard Sobel has long been recognized as an important figure in philosophical discussions of rational decision. He has done much to help formulate the concept of causal decision theory. In this volume of essays Sobel explores the Bayesian idea that rational actions maximize expected values, where an action's expected value is a weighted average of its agent's values for its possible total outcomes. Newcomb's Problem and The Prisoner's Dilemma are discussed, and Allais-type puzzles are viewed from the perspective of (...)
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  38.  32
    Book Reviews Bermúdez, José Luis . Decision Theory and Rationality . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. 189. $50.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 2009 - Ethics 119 (4):757-761.
  39.  38
    Optimization and Improvement. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):467 - 475.
    Agents face serious obstacles to making optimal decisions. For instance, their cognitive limits stand in the way. John Pollock’s book, Thinking about Acting , suggests many ways of revising decision principles to accommodate human limits and to direct limited, artificial agents. The book’s main proposal is to replace optimization, or expected-utility maximization, with locally global planning. This essay describes optimization and locally global planning, and then argues that optimization among salient options has the virtues of locally global planning without certain (...)
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  40.  54
    Calibration.Paul Weirich - 2009 - In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. pp. 415--425.
    Abner Shimony argues that degrees of belief satisfy the axioms of probability because their epistemic goal is to match estimates of objective probabilities. Because the estimates obey the axioms of probability, degrees of belief must also obey them to reach their epistemic goal. This calibration argument meets some objections, but with a few revisions it can surmount those objections. It offers a good alternative to the Dutch book argument for compliance with the probability axioms. The defense of Shimony's calibration argument (...)
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  41.  53
    Utility Maximization Generalized.Paul Weirich - 2008 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 5 (2):282-299.
    Theories of rationality advance principles that differ in topic, scope, and assumptions. A typical version of the principle of utility maximization formulates a standard rather than a procedure for decisions, evaluates decisions comprehensively, and relies on idealizations. I generalize the principle by removing some idealizations and making adjustments for their absence. The generalizations accommodate agents who have incomplete probability and utility assignments and are imperfectly rational. They also accommodate decision problems with unstable comparisons of options.
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  42. Comte et Mill sur l'économie politique.Paul Weirich - 1998 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 52 (203):79-93.
    This essay compares the views of Auguste Comte and John Stuart Mill on political economy.
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  43. Ellery Eells and Tomasz Maruszewski, Eds., Probability and Rationality: Studies on L. Jonathan Cohen's Philosophy of Science Reviewed By. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 1992 - Philosophy in Review 12 (3):189-191.
    This book review describes and evaluates the essays collected by the editors.
     
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  44. Frederic Schick, Ambiguity and Logic Reviewed By.Paul Weirich - 2004 - Philosophy in Review 24 (3):222-224.
     
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  45. Frederic Schick, Ambiguity and Logic. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 2004 - Philosophy in Review 24:222-224.
     
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  46. Review: The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 2000 - Philosophical Books 41 (3):217-219.
     
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  47. Joseph Y. Halpern, Reasoning About Uncertainty Reviewed By.Paul Weirich - 2004 - Philosophy in Review 24 (5):333-336.
    This book review describes and evaluates Joseph Halpern's ideas about reasoning, in particular, reasoning involving conditions.
     
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  48. Joseph Y. Halpern, Reasoning About Uncertainty. [REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 2004 - Philosophy in Review 24:333-336.
    Reviews Joseph Halpern's book with special attention to his points about conditionals.
     
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  49.  40
    Labeling Genetically Modified Food: The Philosophical and Legal Debate.Paul Weirich (ed.) - 2007 - Oup Usa.
    Food products with genetically modified ingredients are common, yet many consumers are unaware of this. When polled, consumers say that they want to know whether their food contains GM ingredients, just as many want to know whether their food is natural or organic. Informing consumers is a major motivation for labeling. But labeling need not be mandatory. Consumers who want GM-free products will pay a premium to support voluntary labeling. Why do consumers want to know about GM ingredients? GM foods (...)
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  50. Probabilities of Conditionals in Decision Theory.Paul Weirich - 1984 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 65 (1):59.
     
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