Revisiting Risk and Rationality: A reply to Pettigrew and Briggs

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I have claimed that risk-weighted expected utility (REU) maximizers are rational, and that their preferences cannot be captured by expected utility (EU) theory. Richard Pettigrew and Rachael Briggs have recently challenged these claims. Both authors argue that only EU-maximizers are rational. In addition, Pettigrew argues that the preferences of REU-maximizers can indeed be captured by EU theory, and Briggs argues that REU-maximizers lose a valuable tool for simplifying their decision problems. I hold that their arguments do not succeed and that my original claims still stand. However, their arguments do highlight some costs of REU theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-862
Number of pages22
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


  • Allais paradox
  • Risk-weighted expected utility
  • accuracy
  • decision theory
  • expected utility
  • risk
  • sure-thing principle


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