Journal of Philosophy 116 (5):263-277 (2019)

Authors
Brad Armendt
Arizona State University
Abstract
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 counterexample to causal decision theory, Murder Lesion, is considered; a simple response shows how Murder Lesion and similar examples fail to be counterexamples, and clarifies the use of the unadorned theory in problems of decision instability. I compare unadorned causal decision theory to previous treatments by Frank Arntzenius and by Jim Joyce, and recommend a well-founded heuristic that all three accounts can endorse. Whatever course deliberation takes, causal decision theory is consistently a good guide to rational action.
Keywords decision theory  causal decision theory  deliberation  unadorned causal decision theory  decision instability  death in damascus  deliberaton dynamics  murder lesion  simple response
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ISBN(s) 0022-362X
DOI 10.5840/jphil2019116517
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References found in this work BETA

Some Counterexamples to Causal Decision Theory.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):93-114.
Rationality Revisited.Reed Richter - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.

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Citations of this work BETA

Causal Decision Theory.Paul Weirich - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Act Consequentialism Without Free Rides.Preston Greene & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):88-116.
Deliberation and Pragmatic Belief.Brad Armendt - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Routledge.
Escaping the Cycle.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):99-127.

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Rationality Revisited.Reed Richter - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
Impartiality and Causal Decision Theory.Brad Armendt - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:326 - 336.

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