IFS pp 153-190 | Cite as

Counterfactuals and Two Kinds of Expected Utility

  • Allan Gibbard
  • William L. Harper
Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 15)


We begin with a rough theory of rational decision-making. In the first place, rational decision-making involves conditional propositions: when a person weighs a major decision, it is rational for him to ask, for each act he considers, what would happen if he performed that act. It is rational, then, for him to consider propositions of the form ‘If I were to do a, then c would happen’. Such a proposition we shall call a counterfactual, and we shall form counterfactuals with a connective ‘☐→' on this pattern: ‘If I were to do a, then c would happen’ is to be written ‘I do a ‘☐→' c happens’.


Conditional Probability Decision Problem Expected Utility Conditionalized State Logical Truth 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan Gibbard
    • 1
    • 2
  • William L. Harper
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MichiganUSA
  2. 2.University of Western OntarioCanada

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