Models of Decision-Making: Simplifying Choices

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9781107077799: Models of Decision-Making: Simplifying Choices

Classical decision theory evaluates entire worlds, specified so as to include everything a decision-maker cares about. Paul Weirich argues that we need only compare small parts of the options we face in order to make a rational decision, and explains how we can simplify and streamline our choices.

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Classical decision theory evaluates entire worlds, specified so as to include everything a decision-maker cares about. Thus applying decision theory requires performing computations far beyond an ordinary decision-maker's ability. In this book Paul Weirich explains how individuals can simplify and streamline their choices. He shows how different 'parts' of options (intrinsic, temporal, spatiotemporal, causal) are separable, so that we can know what difference one part makes to the value of an option, regardless of what happens in the other parts. He suggests that the primary value of options is found in basic intrinsic attitudes towards outcomes: desires, aversions, or indifferences. And using these two facts he argues that we need only compare small parts of the options we face in order to make a rational decision. This important book will interest readers in decision theory, economics, and the behavioral sciences.

Über den Autor:

Paul Weirich is a Curators' Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Missouri. His previous books include Collective Rationality (2010), Realistic Decision Theory (2004), Decision Space (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Equilibrium and Rationality (Cambridge University Press, 1998).

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