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Download e-book for iPad: Choices: An Introduction to Decision Theory by Michael D. Resnik

By Michael D. Resnik

ISBN-10: 0816614393

ISBN-13: 9780816614394

An advent to what's known as "Choice Theory" in Economics.

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Additional resources for Choices: An Introduction to Decision Theory

Sample text

This choice is made against the background of four states: In seven years K. L. will be able to be a good mother and have a good career. In seven years K. L. will not be able to be a good mother but will be able to have a good career. In seven years K. L. will be able to be a good mother but will not be able to have a good career. In seven years K. L. will be able neither to be a good mother nor to have a good career. Kathryn has read several articles and books about delayed motherhood and feels that she can confidently assign a probability (or range of probabilities) to her being able to be a good mother seven years hence.

Why? 2-7. An Application in Social Philosophy: Rawls vs. Harsanyi One of the most interesting and important recent debates in social philosophy is that between John Rawls, a moral philosopher, and John Harsanyi, a decision theorist with strong philosophical interests. Although the stated issue of their de40 DECISIONS UNDER IGNORANCE bate concerns conflicting conceptions of the just society, crucial points in their reasoning turn on the choice of a rule for making decisions under ignorance. Rawls argues for the maximin rule and principles of social justice that protect the interests of those at the bottom of the social ladder; Harsanyi champions the principle of insufficient reason and principles of justice that tend to promote the average level of well-being in a society.

9 Al 0 A2 Sz 100 0 ... 9 we actually have a greater chance of suffering regret if we pick AZ, since there are ninety-nine states under AI in which we will have no regrets and only one under AZ. There is a standard reply to this sort of objection, however. It consists in pointing out that the 99 to 1 ratio of the AI zero regret to the one AZ zero regret 31 DECISIONS UNDER IGNORANCE is no reason to conclude that states with zero regrets are more probable. After all, the decision is supposedly made under ignorance; so, for all we know, state Si is a billion times more probable than all the other states together.

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Choices: An Introduction to Decision Theory by Michael D. Resnik


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