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Oggetto:
Oggetto:

Games, Preferences and Decisions

Oggetto:

Games, Preferences and Decisions

Oggetto:

Anno accademico 2021/2022

Codice attività didattica
FIL0227
Docente
Jan Michael Sprenger (Titolare del corso)
Corso di studio
laurea magistrale in Filosofia
Philosophy International Curriculum M.A.
Anno
1° anno, 2° anno
Periodo
Secondo semestre
Tipologia
Caratterizzante - Ambito: Discipline classiche, storiche, antropologiche e politico-sociali
Crediti/Valenza
6
SSD attività didattica
SECS-P/01 - economia politica
Erogazione
Tradizionale
Lingua
Inglese
Frequenza
Obbligatoria
Tipologia esame
Scritto
Prerequisiti

Knowledge of mathematics at high school level, and interest in understanding human rationality. The course is open for students from all disciplines and also interesting for continentally oriented
philosophers.

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Oggetto:

Sommario del corso

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Obiettivi formativi

The course introduces students to the essential elements of decision theory, expected utility theory, game theory and their applications to understanding human interaction in society (e.g., altruistic behavior, the concept of fairness, the breakdown of negotiations, emergence and decline of social norms). More broadly, the course familiarizes students with modern theories of instrumental rationality which are contrasted to empirical evidence and rivalling philosophical theories of rationality (e.g., Kantian accounts). They learn to evaluate human actions using the tools of decision and game theory and at the same time, they learn how to evaluate those theories critically and to identify their scope and limits.

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Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

Students obtain a clear understanding of what it means to decide and to behave rationally, and to give a critical evaluation of the scope, success and limits of theories of rational choice. They understand the technical foundations of rational choice and game theory and can apply these theories to real-world phenomena.

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Programma

Part I: Instrumental Rationality and the Concept of Utility

Week 1: The concept of utility in the British philosophy of the 18th and 19th century (Hume, Bentham,
Mill), and its impact on the modern concept of instrumental rationality. Contrast with Kantian conceptions of rationality.

Week 2: Weber's typology of different types of rationality. Discussion of the scientific character of impersonal  comparisons of utility (Robbins vs. Harsányi).

Part II: Decision Theory

Week 3: The concept of value or utility function. Statement and proof of the van Neumann-Morgenstern
representation theorem for expected utility maximization. Criticism of the underlying axioms (Allais' paradox). Risk aversion and prospect theory (Kahneman and Tversky).

Week 4: More abstract representation results. Statement and proof sketch of Savage's representation
theorem for expected utility maximization. Critical discussion of the underlying axioms and the Sure-
Thing Principle in particular (Ellsberg' paradox). Non-probabilistic decision rules.

Part III: Game Theory and Social Norms

Week 5: Introduction to game theory and its central concepts such as dominant strategies, Nash equilibria, backward induction, etc. Different kinds of Nash equilibria (e.g., pure and randomized ones), and their interpretations.

Week 6: Applying game theory to explaining altruistic behavior cooperation. Criticism and limitations of
game theory. The evolutionary interpretation of game theory.

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Modalità di insegnamento

Mixture of lecture and seminar. Active partecipation in discussion is a prerequisite for passing the course.

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Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Essay (ca. 3,000 words) and written exam. These two elements count equally toward the final grade (45%
each). The remaining 10% of the grade is determined on the basis of contributions in class.

Vedi descrizione in inglese.

Testi consigliati e bibliografia



Oggetto:
Libro
Titolo:  
The Theory of Choice
Anno pubblicazione:  
1992
Editore:  
Hargreaves-Heap, Shaun
Autore:  
(various authors)
Obbligatorio:  
No


Oggetto:
Libro
Titolo:  
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
Anno pubblicazione:  
1748/49
Autore:  
Hume, David
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Articolo
Titolo:  
Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility: A Comment
Titolo rivista:  
The Economic Journal
Anno pubblicazione:  
1938
Autore:  
Robbins, Lionel
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Articolo
Titolo:  
Cardinal welfare, individualistic ethics, and interpersonal comparisons of utility
Titolo rivista:  
Journal of Political Economy
Anno pubblicazione:  
1955
Autore:  
Harsanyi, John
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Libro
Titolo:  
Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft
Anno pubblicazione:  
1921
Autore:  
Weber, Max
Capitoli:  
Soziologische Grundbegriffe
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Libro
Titolo:  
Theory of Decision under Uncertainty
Anno pubblicazione:  
2009
Autore:  
Gilboa, Itzhak
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Articolo
Titolo:  
Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms
Anno pubblicazione:  
1961
Autore:  
Ellsberg, Daniel
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Articolo
Titolo:  
Reciprocity and the social contract
Titolo rivista:  
Philosophy, politics and economics
Anno pubblicazione:  
2004
Autore:  
Binmore, Ken
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Articolo
Titolo:  
The Nature of Human Altruism
Titolo rivista:  
Nature
Anno pubblicazione:  
2003
Autore:  
Fehr, Ernst and Urs Fischbacher
Obbligatorio:  
Si


Oggetto:
Articolo
Titolo:  
Rational fools: A critique of the behavioral foundations of economic theory
Titolo rivista:  
Philosophy and Public Affairs
Anno pubblicazione:  
1979
Autore:  
Sen, Amartya
Obbligatorio:  
Si
Oggetto:

The book edited by Hargreaves-Heap is an overall introduction to the course topics and provides a good
glossary for terms, too. We won't use it in the class, but it is a good background reading. Gilboa's book provides a good background reading for the formal parts of the course.



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Note

Participation in the classes is obligatory. There is no exam for "non-frequentanti".

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