The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory

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  • Pages: XII-268
  • Support: Print
  • Format: 25 cm.
  • Languages: Anglais
  • Édition: Original
  • Location: Cambridge
  • ISBN: 0521641640
  • URL: External link
  • Creation date: 09-04-2012
  • Last update: 09-04-2012



This book defends the view that any adequate account of rational decision making must take a decision maker's beliefs about causal relations into account. The early chapters of the book introduce the non-specialist to the rudiments of expected utility theory. The major technical advance offered by the book is a 'representation theorem' that shows that both causal decision theory and its main rival, Richard Jeffrey's logic of decision, are both instances of a more general conditional decision theory. The book solves a long-standing problem for Jeffrey's theory by showing for the first time how to obtain a unique utility and probability representation for preferences and judgements of comparative likelihood. The book also contains a major new discussion of what it means to suppose that some event occurs or that some proposition is true. The most complete and robust defence of causal decision theory available. – Contents : – Preface; – Introduction: a chance to reconsider. – 1. Prudential rationality as expected utility maximization; – 2. Decision problems; – 3. Savage's theory; – 4. Evidential decision theory; – 5. Causal decision theory; – 6. A general theory of conditional beliefs; – 7. A representation theorem for causal decision theory; – 8. Where things stand. – Includes bibliographical references (p. 258-264) and index.