Special Report on
Satisficing and Maximizing
Satisficing and Maximizing - Trends
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This edited volume discusses the legitimacy of satisficing as a rational model for practical reason and for ethical deliberation. The idea of satisficing was first conceived by Herbert Simon, who argued that the maximization of expected utility in our choices was an ideal of rationality not generally possible for us, because we lack the cognitive abilities and information relevant for an accurate identification of the best alternative. Instead of maximization, Simon suggests that rationality requires of us only to choose among the alternatives that guarantee a satisfactory outcome. To illustrate this, consider the ...
is a term in decision theory and ethics that is opposed to “maximizing” in the sense that in real rather than idealized decisions an agent will pick not the best choice among those that occur to him but an option which is “good enough.” You rate outcomes as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. A satisfactory outcome may differ from one in which you gain the most utility. Byron gives an example of betting, in which calculations of return on bets yield one best outcome, but this outcome is judged “unsatisfactory.” ( Satisficing and Maximizing , 3) This is ... Read More