This paper explores the intertwining of uncertainty and values. We consider an important but underexplored field of fundamental uncertainty and values in decision-making. Some proposed methodologies to deal with fundamental uncertainty have included potential surprise theory, scenario planning and hypothetical retrospection. We focus on the principle of uncertainty transduction in hypothetical retrospection as an illustrative case of how values interact with fundamental uncertainty. We show that while uncertainty transduction appears intuitive in decision contexts it nevertheless fails in important ranges of strategic game-theoretic cases. The methodological reasons behind the failure are then examined.
KeywordsFundamental uncertainty Values Hypothetical retrospection Uncertainty transduction Game theory
Research supported by the Estonian Research Council (PUT1305, “Abduction in the Age of Fundamental Uncertainty”, PI A.-V. Pietarinen). We thank the reviewers for their insightful remarks.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Estonian Research Council, Research Grant, Abduction in the age of fundamental uncertainty (PUT 1305).
- Artemov, S. (2009). Rational decisions in non-probabilistic settings. Technical report TR-2009012, CUNY, Ph.D Program in Computer Science.Google Scholar
- Ben-Haim, Y. (2006). Info-gap decision theory: Decisions under severe uncertainty. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Carnap, R. (1955). Statistical and inductive probability. In R. Carnap (Ed.), Statistical and inductive probability. Inductive logic and science (pp. 279–287). Brooklyn: The Galois Institute of Mathematics and Art.Google Scholar
- Chiffi, D., & Giaretta, P. (2014). Normative facets of risk. Epistemologia, 37, 22–38.Google Scholar
- Derbyshire, J. (2016). Potential surprise theory as a theoretical foundation for scenario planning. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.05.008.
- Dubois, D., & Prade, H. (2011). Possibility theory and its applications: Where do we stand. Mathware Soft Comput., 18(1), 18–31.Google Scholar
- Fano, V. (2011). A critical evaluation of comparative probability. In Severe uncertainty. Rationality and plausible reasoning, eds. S. Marzetti Dall’Aste Brandolini, and R. Scazzieri, 59–72. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Halpern, J.Y. (2001). Plausibility measures: A general approach for representing uncertainty. Proceedings of the 17th international joint conference on AI (IJCAI 2001): 1474-1483.Google Scholar
- van der Heijden, K. (1996). Scenarios: The art of strategic conversation. Chichester: John Wiley & Son.Google Scholar
- Hempel, C. G. (1965). Science and human values. In C. G. Hempel (Ed.), Aspects of scientific explanation and other essays in the Philosophy of science (pp. 81–96). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
- Keynes, J. M. (1948). A treatise on probability. London: Macmillan (originally published in 1921).Google Scholar
- Keynes, J. M. (1973). The general theory and after: Defence and development. London: Macmillan (the collected writings of John Maynard Keynes, vol. XIV).Google Scholar
- Knight, F. H. (1921). Risk, uncertainty, and profit. Boston: Hart, Schaffner & Marx; Houghton Mifflin Company.Google Scholar
- Pietarinen, A.-V. (2005). Cultivating habits of reason: Peirce and the Logica Utens versus Logica Docens distinction. History of Philosophy Quarterly, 22, 357–372.Google Scholar
- Pietarinen, A.-V., & Bellucci, F. (2015). New light on Peirce’s conceptions of retroduction, deduction, and scientific reasoning. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 28(2), 353–373.Google Scholar
- Royal Society. (1983). Risk assessment: Report of a Royal Society study group. London: Royal Society.Google Scholar
- Schelling, T. C. (1980). The strategy of conflict. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Schelling, T. C. (2008). Arms and influence: With a new preface and afterword. Yale: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Shackle, G. L. S. (1961). Decision, order, and time in human affairs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Shackle, G. L. S. (1983). The bounds of unknowledge. In J. Wiseman (Ed.), Beyond positive economics? (pp. 28–37). London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar