A Proposal for Research With the Goal of Formulating a Computational Theory of Rational Action

Unknown author (1985-04)

Working Paper

A theory of rational action can be used to determine the right action to perform in a situation. I will develop a theory of rational action in which an agent has access to an explicit theory of rationality. The agent makes use of this theory when it chooses its actions, including the actions involved in determining how to apply the theory. The Intentional states of the agent are realized in states and processes of its physical body. The body of the agent is a computational entity whose operations are under the control of a program. The agent has full access to that program and controls its actions by manipulating that program. I will illustrate the theory by implementing a system which simulates the actions a rational agent takes in various situations.