Research

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:

Economic Methodology and Philosophy of Science:

Ethics and Public Policy:

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