Foundations of Decision Theory: Issues and Advances (Economics & Philosophy)

  • Publish Date: 1993-12-13
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Michael Bacharach
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The study of formal models of rational decision-making, born in the 17th century as a new science of gambling, has reached maturity in the 20th century. Its paradigms, expected utility theory and the theory of games , have had a profound influence on the development of theoretical disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. While the problems it confronts have attracted valuable work from diverse areas, the central question it addresses - namely, what am I to do? - has found no agreed answer in a number of basic cases: problems of coordination, of addiction, problems which Newcomb, Allais and Ellsberg, among others, attempted to tackle. The progress of decision theory now requires detailed evaluation of its fundamental assumptions and effective and thorough communication between its contributing disciplines. This volume assembles ten studies commissioned from economists and philosophers currently active in the foundations of decision theory. The editors' introduction combines a review of the major theoretical issues raised in the contributions, with expositions of recent major developments in game theory and individual decision theory to make these developments accessible to non-specialists. This volume should serve as a guide to the state of the art in decision theory as it becomes increasingly crucial to a wide range of disciplines.