Results for 'causal decision theory'

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  1. Causal Decision Theory and Decision Instability.Brad Armendt - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (5):263-277.
    The problem of the man who met death in Damascus appeared in the infancy of the theory of rational choice known as causal decision theory. A straightforward, unadorned version of causal decision theory is presented here and applied, along with Brian Skyrms’ deliberation dynamics, to Death in Damascus and similar problems. Decision instability is a fascinating topic, but not a source of difficulty for causal decision theory. Andy Egan’s purported (...)
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  2. Causal Decision Theory.David Lewis - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
    Newcomb's problem and similar cases show the need to incorporate causal distinctions into the theory of rational decision; the usual noncausal decision theory, though simpler, does not always give the right answers. I give my own version of causal decision theory, compare it with versions offered by several other authors, and suggest that the versions have more in common than meets the eye.
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  3.  17
    Causal Decision Theory, Two-Boxing, and Deliberation-Compatibilism: A Reply to Sandgren and Williamson.Toby Charles Penhallurick Solomon - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):620-627.
    The possibility of predetermined choices raises a challenge for Causal Decision Theory [Ahmed 2014b]. Sandgren and Williamson [2021] have recently proposed a response—Selective Causal Decision Theory—that they hope will avoid Ahmed’s counterexamples, maintain (a particular kind of) compatibilism, and endorse universal Two-boxing in Newcomb’s Problem—CDT’s raison d’être. Their proposal does an admirable job of satisfying the first two desiderata. However, in this reply I raise several worries about whether it can satisfy the third.
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  4. Causal Decision Theory is Safe from Psychopaths.Timothy Luke Williamson - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):665-685.
    Until recently, many philosophers took Causal Decision Theory to be more successful than its rival, Evidential Decision Theory. Things have changed, however, with a renewed concern that cases involving an extreme form of decision instability are counterexamples to CDT :392–403, 1984; Egan in Philos Rev 116:93–114, 2007). Most prominent among those cases of extreme decision instability is the Psychopath Button, due to Andy Egan; in that case, CDT recommends a seemingly absurd act that (...)
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  5. The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory.James M. Joyce - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book defends the view that any adequate account of rational decision making must take a decision maker's beliefs about causal relations into account. The early chapters of the book introduce the non-specialist to the rudiments of expected utility theory. The major technical advance offered by the book is a 'representation theorem' that shows that both causal decision theory and its main rival, Richard Jeffrey's logic of decision, are both instances of a (...)
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  6. Causal Decision Theory: A Counterexample.Arif Ahmed - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (2):289-306.
    The essay presents a novel counterexample to Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Its interest is that it generates a case in which CDT violates the very principles that motivated it in the first place. The essay argues that the objection applies to all extant formulations of CDT and that the only way out for that theory is a modification of it that entails incompatibilism. The essay invites the reader to find this consequence of CDT a reason to (...)
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  7. Against Causal Decision Theory.Huw Price - 1986 - Synthese 67 (2):195 - 212.
    Proponents of causal decision theories argue that classical Bayesian decision theory (BDT) gives the wrong advice in certain types of cases, of which the clearest and commonest are the medical Newcomb problems. I defend BDT, invoking a familiar principle of statistical inference to show that in such cases a free agent cannot take the contemplated action to be probabilistically relevant to its causes (so that BDT gives the right answer). I argue that my defence does better (...)
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  8. Causal Decision Theory and the Fixity of the Past.Arif Ahmed - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):665-685.
    Causal decision theory (CDT) cares only about the effects of a contemplated act, not its causes. The article constructs a case in which CDT consequently recommends a bet that the agent is certain to lose, rather than a bet that she is certain to win. CDT is plainly giving wrong advice in this case. It therefore stands refuted. 1 The Argument2 The Argument in More Detail2.1 The betting mechanism2.2 Soft determinism2.3 The content of P 2.4 The argument (...)
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  9.  66
    Causal Decision Theory’s Predetermination Problem.Toby Charles Penhallurick Solomon - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):5623-5654.
    It has often been noted that there is some tension between engaging in decision-making and believing that one’s choices might be predetermined. The possibility that our choices are predetermined forces us to consider, in our decisions, act-state pairs which are inconsistent, and hence to which we cannot assign sensible utilities. But the reasoning which justifies two-boxing in Newcomb’s problem also justifies associating a non-zero causal probability with these inconsistent act-state pairs. Put together these undefined utilities and non-zero probabilities (...)
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  10. An Argument Against Causal Decision Theory.Jack Spencer - 2021 - Analysis 81 (1):52-61.
    This paper develops an argument against causal decision theory. I formulate a principle of preference, which I call the Guaranteed Principle. I argue that the preferences of rational agents satisfy the Guaranteed Principle, that the preferences of agents who embody causal decision theory do not, and hence that causal decision theory is false.
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  11. Regret and Instability in Causal Decision Theory.James M. Joyce - 2012 - Synthese 187 (1):123-145.
    Andy Egan has recently produced a set of alleged counterexamples to causal decision theory in which agents are forced to decide among causally unratifiable options, thereby making choices they know they will regret. I show that, far from being counterexamples, CDT gets Egan's cases exactly right. Egan thinks otherwise because he has misapplied CDT by requiring agents to make binding choices before they have processed all available information about the causal consequences of their acts. I elucidate (...)
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  12. Causal Decision Theory and EPR Correlations.Arif Ahmed & Adam Caulton - 2014 - Synthese 191 (18):4315-4352.
    The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction (...)
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  13. Causal Decision Theory.Brian Skyrms - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (11):695-711.
  14. A Foundation for Causal Decision Theory.Brad Armendt - 1986 - Topoi 5 (1):3-19.
    The primary aim of this paper is the presentation of a foundation for causal decision theory. This is worth doing because causal decision theory (CDT) is philosophically the most adequate rational decision theory now available. I will not defend that claim here by elaborate comparison of the theory with all its competitors, but by providing the foundation. This puts the theory on an equal footing with competitors for which foundations have (...)
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  15.  70
    Causal Decision Theory.Ellery Eells - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:177 - 200.
    After a brief presentation of evidential decision theory, causal decision theory, and Newcomb type prima facie counterexamples to the evidential theory, three kinds of "metatickle" defenses of the evidential theory are discussed. Each has its weaknesses, but one of them seems stronger than the other two. The weaknesses of the best of the three, and the intricacy of metatickle analysis, does not constitute an advantage of causal decision theory over the (...)
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  16. Causal Decision Theory and Decision-Theoretic Causation.Christopher Hitchcock - 1996 - Noûs 30 (4):508-526.
  17. Some Counterexamples to Causal Decision Theory.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):93-114.
    Many philosophers (myself included) have been converted to causal decision theory by something like the following line of argument: Evidential decision theory endorses irrational courses of action in a range of examples, and endorses “an irrational policy of managing the news”. These are fatal problems for evidential decision theory. Causal decision theory delivers the right results in the troublesome examples, and does not endorse this kind of irrational news-managing. So we (...)
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  18.  78
    The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory.Isaac Levi & James M. Joyce - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (7):387.
  19. Law-Abiding Causal Decision Theory.Timothy Luke Williamson & Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this paper we discuss how Causal Decision Theory should be modified to handle a class of problematic cases involving deterministic laws. Causal Decision Theory, as it stands, is problematically biased against your endorsing deterministic propositions (for example it tells you to deny Newtonian physics, regardless of how confident you are of its truth). Our response is that this is not a problem for Causal Decision Theory per se, but arises because (...)
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  20.  57
    Causal Decision Theory.Paul Weirich - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  21.  43
    The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory[REVIEW]Mirek Janusz - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (2):296-300.
    This book makes a significant contribution to the standard decision theory, that is, the theory of choice built around the principle of maximizing expected utility, both to its causal version and to the more traditional noncausal approach. The author’s success in clarifying the foundations of the standard decision theory in general, and causal decision theory in particular, also makes the book uniquely suitable for a person whose research in philosophy has led (...)
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  22. Causal Decision Theory and Game Theory.William Harper - 1988 - In William Harper & Brian Skyrms (eds.), Causation in Decision, Belief Change, and Statistics. Springer Verlag. pp. 25-48.
     
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  23. Two Causal Decision Theories: Lewis Vs Sobel.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 1982 - In Tom Pauli (ed.), Philosophical Essays Dedicated to Lennart Åqvist. Philosophical Society and Dept. Of Philosophy, University of Uppsala. pp. 299-321.
     
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  24.  43
    Richness and Rationality: Causal Decision Theory and the WAR Argument.Adam Bales - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):259-267.
    Causal decision theory is one of our most prominent theories of rational choice and the “why ain’cha rich?” argument is one of the most prominent objections to this theory. According to WAR, CDT is not an adequate theory of rational choice because it leads agents to make decisions that foreseeably leave them less well off than agents that decide in some other manner. Some philosophers take WAR to decisively undermine CDT. On the other hand, others (...)
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  25. Conditionals in Causal Decision Theory.John Cantwell - 2013 - Synthese 190 (4):661-679.
    This paper explores the possibility that causal decision theory can be formulated in terms of probabilities of conditionals. It is argued that a generalized Stalnaker semantics in combination with an underlying branching time structure not only provides the basis for a plausible account of the semantics of indicative conditionals, but also that the resulting conditionals have properties that make them well-suited as a basis for formulating causal decision theory. Decision theory (at least (...)
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  26.  97
    Levi on Causal Decision Theory and the Possibility of Predicting One's Own Actions.James M. Joyce - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 110 (1):69 - 102.
    Isaac Levi has long criticized causal decisiontheory on the grounds that it requiresdeliberating agents to make predictions abouttheir own actions. A rational agent cannot, heclaims, see herself as free to choose an actwhile simultaneously making a prediction abouther likelihood of performing it. Levi is wrongon both points. First, nothing in causaldecision theory forces agents to makepredictions about their own acts. Second,Levi's arguments for the ``deliberation crowdsout prediction thesis'' rely on a flawed modelof the measurement of belief. Moreover, theability (...)
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  27. Partition-Theorems for Causal Decision Theories.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (1):70-93.
    Two partition-theorems are proved for a particular causal decision theory. One is restricted to a certain kind of partition of circumstances, and analyzes the utility of an option in terms of its utilities in conjunction with circumstances in this partition. The other analyzes an option's utility in terms of its utilities conditional on circumstances and is quite unrestricted. While the first form seems more useful for applications, the second form may be of theoretical importance in foundational exercises. (...)
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  28.  3
    Causal Decision Theory.Ellery Eells - 1999 - ProtoSociology 13:159-180.
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  29. On an Alleged Counter-Example to Causal Decision Theory.John Cantwell - 2010 - Synthese 173 (2):127-152.
    An alleged counterexample to causal decision theory, put forward by Andy Egan, is studied in some detail. It is argued that Egan rejects the evaluation of causal decision theory on the basis of a description of the decision situation that is different from—indeed inconsistent with—the description on which causal decision theory makes its evaluation. So the example is not a counterexample to causal decision theory. Nevertheless, the example (...)
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  30.  40
    Impartiality and Causal Decision Theory.Brad Armendt - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:326 - 336.
    Defenders of sophisticated evidential decision theory (EDT) have argued (1) that its failure to provide correct recommendations in problems where the agent believes himself asymmetrically fallible in executing his choices is no flaw of the theory, and (2) that causal decision theory gives incorrect recommendations in certain examples unless it is supplemented with an additional metatickle or ratifiability deliberation mechanism. In the first part of this paper, I argue that both positions are incorrect. In (...)
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  31.  93
    The Pauper’s Problem: Chance, Foreknowledge and Causal Decision Theory.Adam Bales - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1497-1516.
    In a letter to Wlodek Rabinowicz, David Lewis introduced a decision scenario that he described as “much more problematic for decision theory than the Newcomb Problems”. This scenario, which involves an agent with foreknowledge of the outcome of some chance process, has received little subsequent attention. However, in one of the small number of discussions of such cases, Huw Price's Causation, Chance and the Rational Significance of Supernatural Evidence it has been argued that cases of this sort (...)
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  32.  34
    Intentions and Instability: A Defence of Causal Decision Theory.Adam Bales - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):793-804.
    Andy Egan has recently presented a prominent objection to causal decision theory. However, in this paper, I argue that this objection fails if CDT’s proponent accepts the plausible view that decision-theoretic options are intentions. This result both provides a defence of CDT against a prominent objection and highlights the importance of resolving the nature of decision-theoretic options.
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  33.  5
    A Plan-Based Causal Decision Theory.Gerard J. Rothfus - 2022 - Analysis 82 (2):264-272.
    In ‘An argument against causal decision theory’, Jack Spencer shows that standard formulations of causal decision theory run afoul of his Guaranteed Principle. In the sequential choice problem he employs to make this case, the transgression stems from an awkward discrepancy between how causalists typically value present vs future acts. This note suggests a version of causal decision theory that avoids this incongruity and so respects the Guaranteed Principle in Spencer’s problem. (...)
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    Comments on Causal Decision Theory.Teddy Seidenfeld - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:201 - 212.
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Vol. 1984, Volume Two: Symposia and Invited Papers. (1984), pp. 201-212.
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  35. Review: The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory[REVIEW]Branden Fitelson - 2003 - Mind 112 (447):545-551.
  36. Supposition and Choice: Why 'Causal Decision Theory' is a Misnomer.John Collins - unknown
    This paper has as its topic two recent philosophical disputes. One of these disputes is internal to the project known as decision theory, and while by now familiar to many, may well seem to be of pressing concern only to specialists. It has been carried on over the last twenty years or so, but by now the two opposing camps are pretty well entrenched in their respective positions, and the situation appears to many observers (as well as to (...)
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  37.  17
    Structural Stability in Causal Decision Theory.Greg Lauro & Simon M. Huttegger - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):603-621.
    There are decision problems in which rational deliberation fails to result in choosing a pure act. This phenomenon is known as decision instability and has been discussed in the literature on causal decision theory. In this paper we investigate another type of instability, called structural instability in dynamical systems theory. Structural instability indicates that certain qualitative features of the process of rational deliberation are under-determined in a decision situation. We illustrate some of the (...)
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    Ratifiability and Causal Decision Theory: Comments on Eells and Seidenfeld.William Harper - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:213 - 228.
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  39. The Causal Decision Theorist's Guide to Managing the News.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (3):117-149.
    According to orthodox causal decision theory, performing an action can give you information about factors outside of your control, but you should not take this information into account when deciding what to do. Causal decision theorists caution against an irrational policy of 'managing the news'. But, by providing information about factors outside of your control, performing an act can give you two, importantly different, kinds of good news. It can tell you that the world in (...)
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  40. Review: The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory, by James M. Joyce. [REVIEW]Ellery Eells - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):893-900.
  41.  1
    Structural Stability in Causal Decision Theory.Simon M. Huttegger & Greg Lauro - 2020 - Annalen der Philosophie 87 (2):603-621.
    There are decision problems in which rational deliberation fails to result in choosing a pure act. This phenomenon is known as decision instability and has been discussed in the literature on causal decision theory. In this paper we investigate another type of instability, called structural instability in dynamical systems theory. Structural instability indicates that certain qualitative features of the process of rational deliberation are under-determined in a decision situation. We illustrate some of the (...)
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  42. What is the 'Cause' in Causal Decision Theory?Christopher Hitchcock - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):129-146.
    A simple counterfactual theory of causation fails because of problems with cases of preemption. This might lead us to expect that preemption will raise problems for counterfactual theories of other concepts that have a causal dimension. Indeed, examples are easy to find. But there is one case where we do not find this. Several versions of causal decision theory are formulated using counterfactuals. This might lead us to expect that these theories will yield the wrong (...)
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  43. Mixed Strategies and Ratifiability in Causal Decision Theory.William Harper - 1986 - Erkenntnis 24 (1):25 - 36.
  44. A Problem for Causal Decision Theory: Causality and Identity.P. Dowe - 1998 - Communication and Cognition. Monographies 31 (4):325-338.
     
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  45. Review: The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory[REVIEW]Paul Weirich - 2000 - Philosophical Books 41 (3):217-219.
     
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  46.  4
    Hamilton Meets Causal Decision Theory.Johannes Martens - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 77:101187.
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    Symptomatic Acts and the Value of Evidence in Causal Decision Theory.Patrick Maher - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (3):479-498.
    A "symptomatic act" is an act that is evidence for a state that it has no tendency to cause. In this paper I show that when the evidential value of a symptomatic act might influence subsequent choices, causal decision theory may initially recommend against its own use for those subsequent choices. And if one knows that one will nevertheless use causal decision theory to make those subsequent choices, causal decision theory may (...)
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  48.  21
    Letters From Long Ago: On Causal Decision Theory and Centered Chances.Wlodek Rabinowicz - unknown - In .
    This paper argues that expected utility theory for actions in chancy environments should be formulated in terms of centered chances. The subjective expected utility of an option A may be seen as a weighted sum of the utilities of A in different possible worlds, with weights being the credences that the agent assigns to these worlds. The utility of A in a given world is then definable as a weighted sum of the values of A’s different possible outcomes, with (...)
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  49.  3
    Letters From Long Ago: On Causal Decision Theory and Centered Chances.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2009 - In Lars-Göran Johansson, Jan Österberg & Rysiek Sliwinski (eds.), Logic, Ethics and All That Jazz: Essays in Honour of Jordan Howard Sobel. pp. 247-273.
    This paper argues that expected utility theory for actions in chancy environments should be formulated in terms of centered chances. The subjective expected utility of an option A may be seen as a weighted sum of the utilities of A in different possible worlds, with weights being the credences that the agent assigns to these worlds. The utility of A in a given world is then definable as a weighted sum of the values of A’s different possible outcomes, with (...)
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    Bad Apples and Broken Ladders: A Pragmatic Defence of Causal Decision Theory.Adam Bales - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):117-130.
    ABSTRACT While pragmatic arguments are traditionally seen as supporting decision theory, recent discussions suggest the possibility of pragmatic arguments against this theory. I respond to two such arguments, and clarify what it would take for arguments of this sort to succeed.
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