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Information and Living SystemsPhilosophical and Scientific Perspectives$
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George Terzis and Robert Arp

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262201742

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262201742.001.0001

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Decision Making in the Economy of Nature: Value as Information

Decision Making in the Economy of Nature: Value as Information

(p.253) 9 Decision Making in the Economy of Nature: Value as Information
Information and Living Systems

Benoit Hardy-Vallée

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses decision making and posits that, contrary to common wisdom, it is a notion which is not specifically human, but rather a behavioral control scheme typically found in animals endowed with sensory, motor, and control apparatuses, and, more specifically, in brainy animals. Of course, there are some decisions that will fall outside the scope of this analysis; some because they involve multiagent coordination and others because they appeal to our theoretical rationality. The chapter does not make the claim that all types of decisions are present in humans and animals, but, rather, that humans and animals share many decision-making mechanisms. Consequently, some mechanisms are not shared. For instance, language, and all the cognitive enhancements it affords, is a properly human mechanism.

Keywords:   decision making, behavioral control scheme, brainy animals, multiagent coordination, theoretical rationality, decision-making mechanisms, language, cognitive enhancements

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