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REAL WORLD PROBLEMS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 July 2018

Abstract

In the real world, there can be constraints on rational decision-making: there can be limitations on what I can know and on what you can know. There can also be constraints on my ability to deliberate or on your ability to deliberate. It is useful to know what the norms of rational deliberation should be in ideal contexts, for fully informed agents, in an ideal world. But it is also useful to know what the norms of rational deliberation should be in the actual world, in non-ideal contexts, for imperfectly informed agents, especially for big, life-changing decisions. That is, we want to know how to deliberate as best we can, given the real-world limitations on what we can know, and given real-world limitations on how we are able to deliberate. In this paper, our concern is with the norms of rational deliberation in certain, important, non-ideal contexts, where the reasoning occurs from the agent's first person, subjective point of view. The norms governing the process of deliberation for real people in the sorts of non-ideal contexts we'll consider need to reflect the way that real agents, with an incomplete grasp on the facts and an imperfect ability to deliberate, can be expected to proceed. Our central contention is that framing and exploring the deliberative process from the first person perspective allows us to uncover and explore important, real-world constraints on boundedly rational agents deliberating from the subjective perspective.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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