My work to date falls within philosophy of economics, broadly understood to include not only economic methodology, but also rationality and decision theory, the application of economic methods and theories in moral philosophy and other branches of philosophy, and public policy evaluation. Below, you will find my published work as well as work in progress grouped according to these main themes.
Much of my recent work has been exploring the question of whether we can defend expected utility theory as a theory of instrumental, or means-ends rationality, and if we can’t, whether alternatives to expected utility theory will do better. Below you will find papers that argue that (1) expected utility theory is most plausible, both as a theory of action explanation and as a normative theory, under a behavioural interpretation of preference (2) still, prominent instrumentalist arguments in favour of the core substantive axioms of expected utility theory stop short of establishing we are instrumentally required to abide by them, and (3) the most promising alternative to expected utility theory, rank-dependent utility theory (most prominent in the philosophical literature in the form of Lara Buchak’s risk-weighted expected utility theory) does not actually help to capture the way in which instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory.
My further work concerns temptation and self-control, bargaining and social contract theory, precautionary policy-making, idealisation and thought experiments in economic theory, and the division of cognitive labour in science.
Decision Theory and Rationality:
- Preference Cycles and the Requirements of Instrumental Rationality (Work in Progress)
- Instrumental Rationality Without Separability, forthcoming in Erkenntnis.
- Risk Aversion and the Long Run, in Ethics (in press, for January 2019)
- Temptation and Preference-Based Instrumental Rationality, in José Bermudez (ed.), Self-Control, Decision Theory, and Rationality, Cambridge University Press (in press, for November 2018).
- Decision Theory, contribution to The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology, edited by Richard Pettigrew and Jonathan Weisberg, forthcoming.
- Risk Writ Large (2017, with Jonathan Weisberg) in Philosophical Studies 174 (9), pp. 2369–2384. Lara Buchak responds here, to which we responded here.
Economic Methodology and Philosophy of Science:
- Decision Theory, Folk Psychology, and the Interpretation of Preference (Work in Progress)
- In Defence of Revealed Preference Theory (Work in Progress)
- On the Hidden Thought Experiments of Economic Theory (2016) in Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (2), pp. 129-146.
- The Epistemic Division of Labor Revisited (2015) in Philosophy of Science 82 (3), pp. 454-472. (programmed with Netlogo)
Ethics and Public Policy:
- Time for Caution? (Work in Progress)
- Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract (2015) in Philosophical Studies 172 (12), pp. 3335-3355.