“Woah! It's like Spotify but for academic articles.”

Instant Access to Thousands of Journals for just $40/month

Get 2 Weeks Free

Decision Theory as a Branch of Evolutionary Theory

Decision Theory as a Branch of Evolutionary Theory


This article examines the possibility that the theory of rational choice under uncertainty, including cognate theories of utility and subjective probability, may ultimately be reducible to a basis of evolutionary theory. As preliminary support for this reducibility hypothesis, L. Savage's classic axiomatization of decision theory, utility, and personal probability is derived mathematically from a simple biological population process model. The derivation establishes that the evolutionary constraint of fitness maximization imposed on organismic behavior by the action of natural selection can give rise to formal consequences comparable to the standard laws of rational choice, utility, and personal probability. If the logic of decision is ultimately biological, as the reducibility hypothesis suggests, profound changes may be called for in our perception of the character of rational judgment and in our methods of investigating it. Classical standards of rationality could no longer be regarded as absolute, behavior previously thought irrational might turn out to be biologically rational, and evolutionary process models would become potential psychological hypotheses concerning reasoned behavior.
Loading next page...
Problems Reading this Article? Report Issue Here

You're reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

And millions more from thousands of peer-reviewed journals, for only $40/month.

Get 2 Weeks Free

To be the best researcher, you need access to the best research

  • With DeepDyve, you can stop worrying about how much articles cost, or if it's too much hassle to order — it's all at your fingertips. Your research is important and deserves the top content.
  • Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from Springer, Elsevier, Nature, IEEE, Wiley-Blackwell and more.
  • All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

Stop missing out on the latest updates in your field

  • We’ll send you automatic email updates on the keywords and journals you tell us are most important to you.
  • There is a lot of content out there, so we help you sift through it and stay organized.