Risk as a Consequence

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Weirich, Paul
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conference paper description
Because an option’s evaluation reviews the option’s relevant consequences, decision theory needs a characterization of these consequences. A relevant consequence is an event the agent cares about, but beyond this an apt characterization depends on how evaluations of options use consequences. For some evaluations, the characterization of an option’s relevant consequences includes every consequence the agent cares about, but for other evaluations it omits some of these consequences. This paper argues (1) that the aptness of a narrow or broad account of an option’s relevant consequences depends on whether evaluation of options uses only an agent’s preferences or also the agent’s independently defined probability and utility assignments and (2) that an option’s broad evaluation is relative to the agent’s perspective in the world that the option produces and therefore appropriately reviews the option’s risk.