LSE Philosophy PhD student Ze’ev Goldschmidt has published his new paper ‘Foundations for Knowledge-Based Decision Theories’ in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

Abstract: Several philosophers have proposed Knowledge-Based Decision Theories (KDTs)—theories that require agents to maximize expected utility as yielded by utility and probability functions that depend on the agent’s knowledge. Proponents of KDTs argue that such theories are motivated by Knowledge-Reasons norms that require agents to act only on reasons that they know. However, no formal derivation of KDTs from Knowledge-Reasons norms has been suggested, and it is not clear how such norms justify the particular ways in which KDTs relate knowledge and rational action. In this paper, I suggest a new axiomatic method for justifying KDTs and providing them with stronger normative foundations. I argue that such theories may be derived from constraints on the relation between knowledge and preference, and that these constraints may be evaluated relative to intuitions regarding practical reasoning. To demonstrate this, I offer a representation theorem for a KDT proposed by Hawthorne and Stanley (2008) and briefly evaluate it through its underlying axioms.

Link to the paper.