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The key to the knowledge norm of action is ambiguity

Title data

Rich, Patricia:
The key to the knowledge norm of action is ambiguity.
In: Synthese. (4 June 2021) .
ISSN 1573-0964
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03221-5

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
Emmy Noether Project "Knowledge and Decisions"315078566

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Knowledge-first epistemology includes a knowledge norm of action: roughly, act only on what you know. This norm has been criticized, especially from the perspective of so-called standard decision theory. Mueller and Ross provide example decision problems which seem to show that acting properly cannot require knowledge. I argue that this conclusion depends on applying a particular decision theory (namely, Savage-style Expected Utility Theory) which is ill-motivated in this context. Agents’ knowledge is often most plausibly formalized as an ambiguous epistemic state, and the theory of decision under ambiguity is then the appropriate modeling tool. I show how to model agents as acting rationally on the basis of their knowledge according to such a theory. I conclude that the tension between the knowledge norm of action and formal decision theory is illusory; the knowledge-first paradigm should be used to actively select the decision-theoretical tools that can best capture the knowledge-based decisions in any given situation.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Knowledge; Decision-making; Ambiguity; Knowledge-first epistemology;
Imprecise probability; Expected utility; Uncertainty
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Philosophy > Junior Professor Philosophy of Economics > Junior Professor Philosophy of Economics - Juniorprof. Dr. Patricia Lynn Rich
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Philosophy
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Philosophy > Junior Professor Philosophy of Economics
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 100 Philosophy and psychology > 100 Philosophy
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2021 21:00
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2021 05:57
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/67273