Phil 411 – Theories of Decision

Reading Schedule

The following reading schedule will be amended as the semester progresses. All page numbers refer to Martin Peterson, Introduction to Decision Theory, 2nd Ed. All other readings can be accessed by following the hyperlinks.
Day Date Topic Reading 
Tuesday 23-Jan Introduction  
Thursday 25-Jan 1.1 Setup pp 1-40 (Ch 1-2)
Tuesday 30-Jan 1.2 Decisions Under Ignorance pp. 41-64 (Ch 3)
Thursday 1-Feb 1.3 Decisions Under Risk pp. 65-79 (Ch 4.1-4.3)
Tuesday 6-Feb 1.4 Utility pp. 97-123 (Ch 5)
Thursday 8-Feb 1.4 Utility pp. 97-123 (Ch 5)
Tuesday 13-Feb 1.5 Paradoxes and Problems pp. 80-96 (Ch 4.4-4.8)
Thursday 15-Feb

1.6 Mathematics of Probability

1.7 Philosophy of Probability

pp. 124-140 (Ch 6)

pp. 141-173 (Ch 7)

Tuesday 20-Feb

1.6 Mathematics of Probability

1.7 Philosophy of Probability

 

pp. 124-140 (Ch 6)

pp. 141-173 (Ch 7)

Thursday 22-Feb 1.8 Causal vs. Evidential Decision Theory pp. 206-219 (Ch 9); Egan, "Some Counterexamples to Causal Decision Theory"
Tuesday 27-Feb

1.9 Risk Aversion

pp. 220-233 (Ch 10) 
Thursday 1-Mar 1.10 Application: Deciding to Have a Child Paul, "What You Can't Expect When You're Expecting"
Tuesday 6-Mar 1.11 Application: Religious Belief and Exam Review Pascal, excerpt from Pensees
Thursday 8-Mar MIDTERM EXAM EXAM
Tuesday 13-Mar SPRING BREAK  
Thursday 15-Mar SPRING BREAK  
Tuesday 20-Mar 2.1 Zero Sum Games pp. 234-262 (Ch 11)
Thursday 22-Mar 2.1 Zero Sum Games pp. 234-262 (Ch 11)
Tuesday 27-Mar 2.2 Nonzero-Sum Games pp. 263-273 (Ch 12.1-12.3); Lewis "Prisoner's Dilemma is a Newcomb Problem"
Thursday 29-Mar 2.3 Iterated Games pp. 274-278 (Ch 12.4)
Tuesday 3-Apr 2.4 Cooperative or Coalition Games pp. 279-283 (Ch 12.4-12.6)
Thursday 5-Apr 2.5 Application: Morality Gauthier, "Why Contractarianism?"; Smith, "Deriving Morality from Rationality"
Tuesday 10-Apr 2.6 Application: Convention Lewis, excerpts from Convention
Thursday 12-Apr 2.6 Application: Convention Lewis, excerpts from Convention
Tuesday 17-Apr 2.6 Application: Convention Lewis, excerpts from Convention
Thursday 19-Apr Catch Up Day  
Tuesday 24-Apr 3.1 Social Choice: Arrow's Theorem pp. 287-297 (Ch 13.1-13.2)
Thursday 26-Apr 3.1 Social Choice: Arrow's Theorem pp. 287-297 (Ch 13.1-13.2)
Tuesday 1-May 3.2 Social Choice: Sen on Liberalism pp. 298-300 (Ch 13.3); Sen, "Rationality and Social Choice"
Thursday 3-May Final Exam Review  
FINAL EXAM DATE 10-May FINAL EXAM 1:30 pm – 4:15 pm