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Norms and descriptions

Vareman, Niklas LU (2008) In Decision Analysis 5(2). p.88-99
Abstract
The problem addressed in this text is the problem of identifying conditions according to which it is possible to distinguish between a descriptive theory and a normative theory. What makes a descriptive theory descriptive and a normative theory normative? Focus is on subjective expected utility theories where it seems open to debate whether the appropriate use is normative or descriptive. My discussion, which takes arguments by Isaac Levi and Hugh Mellor as a point of departure, is mostly negative, showing that there are no obvious distinguishing features of theories qua theories. Rather the theories can be used normatively or descriptively without making them theories of the one kind or the other. I also point to situations in... (More)
The problem addressed in this text is the problem of identifying conditions according to which it is possible to distinguish between a descriptive theory and a normative theory. What makes a descriptive theory descriptive and a normative theory normative? Focus is on subjective expected utility theories where it seems open to debate whether the appropriate use is normative or descriptive. My discussion, which takes arguments by Isaac Levi and Hugh Mellor as a point of departure, is mostly negative, showing that there are no obvious distinguishing features of theories qua theories. Rather the theories can be used normatively or descriptively without making them theories of the one kind or the other. I also point to situations in prescriptive decision analysis where one should be observant of in what way theories are used. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
prescriptive decision models, descriptive-, normative-, Decision theory
in
Decision Analysis
volume
5
issue
2
pages
88 - 99
publisher
Informs
ISSN
1545-8490
DOI
10.1287/deca.1080.0112
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
afdeaf42-9720-4701-b19b-d030b086dcdb (old id 1265377)
date added to LUP
2008-11-10 13:01:35
date last changed
2016-04-15 19:20:45
@article{afdeaf42-9720-4701-b19b-d030b086dcdb,
  abstract     = {The problem addressed in this text is the problem of identifying conditions according to which it is possible to distinguish between a descriptive theory and a normative theory. What makes a descriptive theory descriptive and a normative theory normative? Focus is on subjective expected utility theories where it seems open to debate whether the appropriate use is normative or descriptive. My discussion, which takes arguments by Isaac Levi and Hugh Mellor as a point of departure, is mostly negative, showing that there are no obvious distinguishing features of theories qua theories. Rather the theories can be used normatively or descriptively without making them theories of the one kind or the other. I also point to situations in prescriptive decision analysis where one should be observant of in what way theories are used.},
  author       = {Vareman, Niklas},
  issn         = {1545-8490},
  keyword      = {prescriptive decision models,descriptive-,normative-,Decision theory},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {88--99},
  publisher    = {Informs},
  series       = {Decision Analysis},
  title        = {Norms and descriptions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/deca.1080.0112},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2008},
}