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Foundations for knowledge-based decision theories

Goldschmidt, Zeev ORCID: 0000-0001-5741-2346 (2024) Foundations for knowledge-based decision theories. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. ISSN 0004-8402

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00048402.2024.2328635


Several philosophers have proposed Knowledge-Based Decision Theories (KDTs)—theories that require agents to maximize expected utility as yielded by utility and probability functions that depend on the agent’s knowledge. Proponents of KDTs argue that such theories are motivated by Knowledge-Reasons norms that require agents to act only on reasons that they know. However, no formal derivation of KDTs from Knowledge-Reasons norms has been suggested, and it is not clear how such norms justify the particular ways in which KDTs relate knowledge and rational action. In this paper, I suggest a new axiomatic method for justifying KDTs and providing them with stronger normative foundations. I argue that such theories may be derived from constraints on the relation between knowledge and preference, and that these constraints may be evaluated relative to intuitions regarding practical reasoning. To demonstrate this, I offer a representation theorem for a KDT proposed by Hawthorne and Stanley (2008) and briefly evaluate it through its underlying axioms.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2024 16:12
Last Modified: 27 May 2024 19:00

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