Peter Stone's "The Concept of Picking": Recipient of the 2014 Best C&M Working Paper Award

Peter Stone's "The Concept of Picking": Recipient of the 2014 Best C&M Working Paper Award

Posted by: Mrs. Sarah Veilleux-Poulin

Publication date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015

The Committee on Concepts and Methods (C&M - IPSA RC01) publishes two highly regarded series of working papers. In 2011, the Committee introduced the Best C&M Working Paper Award, which recognizes the best working paper published in either of its two series during the three previous year. The winner of the 2014 award is Peter Stone (Trinity College, Dublin) for his paper "The Concept of Picking" (Political Concepts 50, May 2011). {available at: http://www.concepts-methods.org/Files/WorkingPaper/PC_50_Stone.pdf}

In this paper Stone seeks to defend as rational the idea that agents sometimes simply pick among options in the absence of reasons to justify that selection. In instances where the standard ‘filters’ of rational decision making (first identify the feasible set, then choose the best option in that set) leave the agent with either no option or several, she may be justified in picking. Stone traces the genealogy of this idea, defends it against several skeptical alternative views, and in the process specifies the conditions under which it holds. In so doing he not only contributes to the task of delineating the concept of rational action, but offers a rich assessment of picking as a distinctive enterprise. 

2014 Award Jury:

James Johnson, University of Rochester (chair)
Beth Leech, Rutgers University
Zachary Elkins, University of Texas – Austin

IPSA C&M
Committee on Concepts and Methods
International Political Science Association
http://www.concepts-methods.org