No Regrets

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Arntzenius, Frank
preprint description
Edith Piaf is famous for her chanson “Non, je ne regrette rien”. I suggest that rational people should not violate Piaf’s ‘No Regrets’ maxim; a rational person should not be able to fore-see that she will regret her decisions. In section 2 I formulate a principle, Desire Reflection, which is a version of Piaf’s maxim. In section 3 I argue that standard evidential decision theory violates this principle. In section 4 I argue that standard causal decison theory does not violate it. In section 5 I discuss whether a couple of variations on these standard decision theories satisfy Desire Reflection. In section 6 I make a suggestion for how causal decision theorists should pick what they consider to be the relevant causal situations. In section 7 I discuss the ‘If you’re so smart, why ain’t cha rich’ objection to causal decision theory, and dismiss it. In section 8 I discuss a more serious problem for causal decision theory, namely ‘Decision Instability’, and argue that it is a real problem. In section 9 I develop deliberational decision theory in order to escape Decision Instability. In section 10 I discuss the connection between deliberational decision theory and game theory. I end with some conclusions.