Objects of choice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rational agents are supposed to maximize expected utility. But what are the options from which they choose? I outline some constraints on an adequate representation of an agent’s options. The options should, for example, contain no information of which the agent is unsure. But they should be suÿciently rich to distinguish all available acts from one another. These demands often come into conflict, so that there seems to be no adequate representation of the options at all. After reviewing existing proposals for how to construe decision-theoretic options and finding them all wanting, I suggest that our model of rational agents should include a special domain of “virtual” option propositions to serve as formal objects of deliberation and choice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-197
Number of pages33
Issue number517
Early online date8 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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