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By John Neter

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They want additional relevant information so that maximizing utility given their information is more likely to maximize informed utility. 13 Because of information’s utility, strategic acts and other acts conditional on future events have an advantage. Strategic acts take advantage of future information. They are not just extended acts, sequences of momentary acts, but rather extended acts with future stages responding to future information. Given uncertainty, strategies dependent on future contingencies may have higher utilities than their nonconditional counterparts because the strategies respond to new information.

Given uncertainty, strategies dependent on future contingencies may have higher utilities than their nonconditional counterparts because the strategies respond to new information. For example, an agent may expect to do better by taking his umbrella tomorrow if and only if it rains tomorrow than by packing his umbrella tonight without regard for tomorrow’s weather. This advantage of strategic action redounds upon decisions to adopt strategies. Deciding on a strategy may have greater utility than deciding on any nonconditional act extracted from the strategy.

Hence, the assumption is ad hoc. An assumption of a principle, unlike an assumption of a theory, cannot be ad hoc in this way. It does not advance a claim and so does not advance an insufficiently supported, ad hoc claim. Applications of my distinction between idealizations and restrictions may be controversial for a number of reasons. Let me draw attention to a few. First, a principle may not clearly indicate its assumptions and the phenomenon it tries to explain. Their specification may be a matter of interpretation.

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