On 5 February 2016 this one day workshop will focus on themes from Prof Richard Bradley’s forthcoming book, Decision Theory with a Human Face.

Abstract of the book

The main aim of the book is to develop a decision theory that is tailored for ‘real’ agents; i.e. agents, like us, who are uncertain about a great many things and are limited in their capacity to represent, evaluate and deliberate, but which nonetheless want to get things right to the extent that they can. The book is motivated by two broad claims. The first is that Bayesian decision theory provides an account of the rationality requirements on ‘unbounded’ agents that is essentially correct and which is applicable in circumstances in which two main conditions are met: firstly, that agents are aware of all the options available to them and of all possibilities relevant to their evaluation and, secondly, that they are in a position to form precise judgements about the probability and desirability of these possibilities. The second claim is that there are many circumstances in which these conditions are not satisfied and hence in which the classical Bayesian theory is not applicable. A normative decision theory, adequate to such circumstances, would provide guidance on how ‘bounded’ agents should represent the uncertainty they face, how they should revise their opinions as a result of experience and how they should make decisions when lacking full awareness or precise opinions (that they have confidence in) on relevant contingencies. The book tries to provide such a theory.

Further information about, and a working manuscript of, the book is available here.

Confirmed Speakers

Provisional Programme

Richard Bradley: “Introduction”
James Joyce: “Prospective Rationality”
Christian List: “Multidimensional semantics for decision theory”
Wlodek Rabinowicz: “Taking action & decision making under uncertainty”
Anna Mahtani: “Imprecise Bayesianism”
Franz Dietrich: “Revising incomplete states of mind”
Katie Steele: “Decision making under severe uncertainty”


Christian List


This workshop will take place in room 2.06 of the Lakatos Building, LSE.