Save To Worklist

PHIL 321 Induction, Decision and Game Theory

Formal methods relevant to probabilistic and inductive reasoning. Decision theory, game theory, axiomatic probability theory and its interpretations, belief dynamics, simulation and modelling.

This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option.

Credits: 3

Pre-reqs: One of PHIL 125, PHIL 220. (or instructor permission.)

Status Section Activity Term Interval Days Start Time End Time Comments
PHIL 321 001Lecture1 Mon Wed Fri12:0013:00

What makes a decision rational? In this course we will examine two different approaches to this question: decision theory and game theory. Decision theory is used to analyze the decision making of an individual under various degrees of ignorance about what factors will affect the outcomes of the agent's choices. Game theory is used to analyze decisions in which the outcomes of an agent's decision are determined in part by what other agents do.

Decision and game theory are studied and used in a wide variety of areas, including economics, statistics, business, evolutionary biology, psychology, political science, mathematics, computer science and philosophy. Although we will have occasion to discuss examples from some of these areas, the primary emphasis will be on philosophical issues. This means that we will focus on the conceptual foundations of decision and game theory, with special attention given to certain puzzles (e.g., Newcomb's paradox and the Prisoner's Dilemma). We will also spend time thinking about the applications of these theories to various areas of philosophy, including social and ethical problems.