Rationality and Choice
This information is for the 2012/13 session.
MSc Economics and Philosophy, MSc Philosophy and Public Policy, MSc Philosophy of Social Science, MSc Philosophy of Science, and MPhil/PhD Philosophy. It is also open to all LSE MSc and research students.
None, but introductory logic is useful.
The course examines the theory of rationality and rational decision making. It is in two parts (i) Probability and Decision: Probabilistic thinking, different interpretations of probability, decision making under risk, ignorance and uncertainty, the measurement of belief and desire, paradoxes of expected utility theory. (ii) Game Theory and Social Choice: Solution concepts for games, backward induction and hypothetical reasoning, bargaining theory, Arrow's Theorem, the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem, interpersonal comparability and Utilitarianism.
Weekly one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar in the Michaelmas and Lent terms.
Students will submit a piece of written work each term and complete a number of exercises.
Richard Jeffrey, The Logic of Decision, Michael Resnik, Choices: an introduction to decision theory, Martin Peterson An Introduction to Decision Theory, Donald Gillies Philosophical Theories of Probability, Amartya Sen Collective Choice and Social Welfare, Duncan Luce and Howard Raiffa Games and Decisions, Wulf Gaertner A Primer in Social Choice Theory, J. S. Kelly Social Choice Theory. An Introduction.
A three-hour examination in the Summer Term.