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dc.contributor.advisorRobert Stalnaker.en_US
dc.contributor.authorEtlin, David Jeffreyen_US
dc.contributor.otherMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2009-06-30T16:34:07Z
dc.date.available2009-06-30T16:34:07Z
dc.date.copyright2008en_US
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/45898
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2008.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (leaves 127-132).en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation studies the logics of value and conditionals, and the question of whether they should be given cognitivist analyses. Emotivist theories treat value judgments as expressions of desire, rather than beliefs about goodness. Inference ticket theories of conditionals treat them as expressions of conditional beliefs, rather than propositions. The two issues intersect in decision theory, where judgments of expected goodness are expressible by means of decision-making conditionals. In the first chapter, I argue that decision theory cannot be given a Humean foundation by means of money pump arguments, which purport to show that the transitivity of preference and indifference is a requirement of instrumental reason. Instead, I argue that Humeans should treat the constraints of decision theory as constitutive of the nature of preferences. Additionally, I argue that transitivity of preference is a stricter requirement than transitivity of indifference. In the second chapter, I investigate whether David Lewis has shown that decision theory is incompatible with anti-Humean theories of desire. His triviality proof against "desire as belief' seems to show that desires can be at best conditional beliefs about goodness. I argue that within causal decision theory we can articulate the cognitivist position where desires align with beliefs about goodness, articulated by the decision making conditional. In the third chapter, I turn to conditionals in their own right, and especially iterated conditionals.en_US
dc.description.abstract(cont.) I defend the position that indicative conditionals obey the import-export equivalence rather than modus ponens (except for simple conditionals), while counterfactual subjunctive conditionals do obey modus ponens. The logic of indicative conditionals is often thought to be determined by conditional beliefs via the Ramsey Test. I argue that iterated conditionals show that the conditional beliefs involved in indicative supposition diverge from the conditional beliefs involved in learning, and that half of the Ramsey Test is untenable for iterated conditionals.en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityby David Jeffrey Etlin.en_US
dc.format.extent132 leavesen_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.rightsM.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582en_US
dc.subjectLinguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.titleDesire, belief, and conditional beliefen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.degreePh.D.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.identifier.oclc320525627en_US


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