Realistic Decision Theory: Rules for Nonideal Agents in by Paul Weirich

By Paul Weirich

Inside of conventional choice idea, universal determination ideas -- e.g. the main to maximise application -- mostly invoke idealization; they govern excellent brokers in excellent situations. In reasonable determination concept, Paul Weirch provides practicality to selection idea through formulating ideas employing to nonideal brokers in nonideal conditions, equivalent to genuine humans dealing with complicated judgements. Bridging the distance among normative calls for and mental assets, practical choice conception is vital analyzing for theorists looking specific normative choice ideas that recognize the bounds and problems of human decision-making.

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Extra resources for Realistic Decision Theory: Rules for Nonideal Agents in Nonideal Circumstances

Example text

Although a goal of rationality is neither a standard of evaluation nor a decision procedure, it influences rational decision procedures and so matters in a comprehensive assessment of a decision’s rationality. I adopt the principle of utility maximization restricted to acts of a certain type, namely, decisions. The principle evaluates a decision at a moment with respect to other possible decisions at the moment. The principle is realistic about the acts in a human’s direct control. For a human, direct control covers decisions at a moment but generally does not go much further.

In contrast, adding a premiss to an argument does not change its conclusion’s truth value. My characterization of an idealization applies only to an assumption that restricts an explanatory principle. It takes account of the principle to which the assumption belongs and the phenomenon the principle treats. An assumption of an explanatory principle concerning a phenomenon is an idealization if and only if it identifies and controls for a factor in the phenomenon’s explanation. If the principle using the idealization is true, it yields a partial explanation of the phenomenon.

The principle to maximize utility makes some assumptions. Suppose, for example, that creation of a world includes creation of values. As a result, one world is best according to the values it establishes, whereas another world is best according to the values it establishes. Perhaps the first yields hedonistic values and maximizes pleasures, whereas the second yields epistemic values and maximizes knowledge. The basis of comparison of worlds is then unstable. To table such problems, the principle to maximize utility assumes a stable basis of comparison of acts.

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