2.57 Decision Theory

Category: Ethics

Keywords: utilities, mill, utility, decision, choosing, box, option, options, decisions, choice, choose, expected, alternatives, utilitarianism, choices

Number of Articles: 235
Percentage of Total: 0.7%
Rank: 68th

Weighted Number of Articles: 271.4
Percentage of Total: 0.8%
Rank: 60th

Mean Publication Year: 1983.8
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1979.7
Median Publication Year: 1985
Modal Publication Year: 1983

Topic with Most Overlap: Chance (0.0459)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Game Theory (0.0449)
Topic with Least Overlap: Heidegger and Husserl (0.00023)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Perception (0.00041)

Decision Theory

Figure 2.131: Decision Theory

Decision Theory Articles in Each Journal

Figure 2.132: Decision Theory Articles in Each Journal


I’m going to say a bit more in Chapter 5 about why this is in Ethics, because it turned out to be one of the hardest topics to classify. Note for now that the keywords suggest that the focus of this topic is on the utility end of the probability-and-utility model of choice, and that suggests it naturally fits with value theory.

The graph that runs through each journal separately shows that this topic is more prevalent in Ethics than any other journal, which is consistent with classifying the topic in Ethics. Journal of Philosophy started taking an interest in the late 1970s, but it’s hard to see a trend after this. Some years there is a lot of decision theory work in Analysis, but some years there is not. And there was a flood of work, mostly centered around the Pasadena Game in Mind in the 2000s.

But mostly there is a little less here than I expected. I think part of what’s happened is that some work I was mentally classifying as Decision Theory the model instead treated as Formal Epistemology. And that’s why this is mostly sitting at or even under 1% frequency.