Risk, rationality and expected utility theory

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):798-826 (2015)
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There are decision problems where the preferences that seem rational to many people cannot be accommodated within orthodox decision theory in the natural way. In response, a number of alternatives to the orthodoxy have been proposed. In this paper, I offer an argument against those alternatives and in favour of the orthodoxy. I focus on preferences that seem to encode sensitivity to risk. And I focus on the alternative to the orthodoxy proposed by Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory. I will show that the orthodoxy can be made to accommodate all of the preferences that Buchak’s theory can accommodate



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Richard Pettigrew
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

Taking Risks on Behalf of Another.Johanna Thoma - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (3):e12898.
Decision Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 57-106.
Why Take Both Boxes?Jack Spencer & Ian Wells - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):27-48.

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References found in this work

Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - New York, NY.: Oxford University Press UK.
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Bernard Williams.
A nonpragmatic vindication of probabilism.James M. Joyce - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.

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