Chrisoula Andreou, "Choosing Well: The Good, the Bad, and the Trivial" (Oxford UP, 2023)


It is common to think that rational agency involves acting in ways that, given one’s options, maximize the satisfaction of one’s preferences. This intuitive understanding has generated a wide-ranging literature about the ways in which individuals routinely fail to be rational in the proposed sense: they make choices that not only do not maximize their preference satisfaction, but actually undermine or defeat their aims. Maybe we’re not rational animals after all?

In Choosing Well: The Good, The Bad, and The Trivial (Oxford University Press 2023), Chrisoula Andreou explores certain cases of purported irrationality and argues that they involve disorderly preferences but need not involve irrationality on the part of agents. Chrisoula argues that there are cases where, although our preferences may be disorderly, we can preserve our practical rationality by taking care to attend to the patterns of choice we instantiate. Along the way, Chrisoula proposes intriguing ideas about how we assess our choices, how to understand temptation, and when it’s rational to regret our choices.

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Robert Talisse

Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

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