Satisficing and Maximizing: Moral Theorists on Practical Reason

Satisficing and Maximizing: Moral Theorists on Practical Reason

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Michael Byron
Cambridge University Press, 4/16/2010
EAN 9780521010054, ISBN10: 0521010055

Paperback, 256 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Language: English

How do we think about what we plan to do? One dominant answer is that we select the best possible option available. However, a growing number of philosophers would offer a different answer: since we are not equipped to maximize we often choose the next best alternative, one that is no more than satisfactory. This strategy choice is called satisficing (a term coined by the economist Herb Simon). This collection of essays explores both these accounts of practical reason, examining the consequences for adopting one or the other for moral theory in general and the theory of practical rationality in particular. It aims to address a constituency larger than contemporary moral philosophers and bring these questions to the attention of those interested in the applications of decision theory in economics, psychology and political science.

Introduction Michael Byron
1. Two views of satisficing Michael Slote
2. Satisficing as a humanly rational strategy David Schmidtz
3. Maxificing
life on a budget
or, if you would maximize, then satisfice Jan Narveson
4. Satisficing and substantive values Thomas Hurka
5. A new defense of satisficing Michael Weber
6. Satisficing
Not good enough Henry S. Richardson
7. Why ethical satisficing makes sense and rational satisficing doesn't James Dreier
8. The plausibility of satisficing and the role of good in ordinary thought Mark van Roojen
9. Satisficing and perfectionism in virtue ethics Christine Swanton
10. Could Aristotle satisfice? Michael Byron
11. How do economists think about rationality? Tyler Cowen.