Thinking about acting: logical foundations for rational by John L. Pollock

By John L. Pollock

John Pollock goals to build a concept of rational choice making for actual agents--not excellent brokers. genuine brokers have restricted cognitive powers, yet conventional theories of rationality have utilized in simple terms to idealized brokers that lack such constraints. Pollock argues that theories of perfect rationality are mostly inappropriate to the choice making of genuine brokers. considering appearing goals to supply a idea of "real rationality."

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At this point have an elevated state liking. As you hike along you see wonderful vistas. They please you, and each time this happens your state liking takes a little jump. But then unexpected clouds roll in, and you begin to worry about being caught on the mountain in a storm. As you worry your mood darkens, and your state liking is depressed. You decide to take a shortcut back to your car to beat the rain, so you cut across country and enter the deep woods. But the rain catches you anyway, and you are soon cold, wet, and miserable.

But it is still not small enough. , has a nonzero value, and Q is not. Then P will be included in the preference ranking and Q will not. However, unless Q interacts with P 25 in such a way as to cancel its value, (P&Q) will also be value-laden, and so if all value-laden features are included in the preference ranking, (P&Q) must be included. Hence little is gained by leaving Q out of the preference ranking. To illustrate, suppose again (unrealistically) that states of the world can be characterized by just 300 two-valued parameters.

For that to make sense, the utility measure must be a cardinal measure of value, not just an ordinal measure. Ordinal measures provide only a rank ordering of whatever it is that is being measured. Cardinal measures purport to actually measure the size of a quantity. The mark of a cardinal measure is that one can meaningfully add measures or multiply measures by a real number to get the measure of a larger quantity. The definition of expected value presupposes the ability to perform mathematical manipulations on the measures of utilities, multiplying them by probabilities and adding the results, so a cardinal measure is required.

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