Rozendal, S.T. (2018). The Problem of Complex Cluelessness

Rozendal, S.T. (2018). The Problem of Complex Cluelessness


I consider whether we are fundamentally clueless about the value of the total consequences of our actions, and if so, what we can do to improve our epistemic situation. I briefly discuss what Greaves calls ‘simple cluelessness’. Afterwards, I discuss ‘complex cluelessness’, which is the problem that in many decision situations we do not know how to compare the expected values of different acts if all possible consequences are considered. I conclude that ‘complex cluelessness’ is under-described, and the problem (or set of problems) needs to be disentangled before we can make much progress on it. I suggest some questions that seem important to address and offer different options of how to address them.


This was a very fun essay to write, but I don’t think I made much progress on the problem. I experimented a bit with set theory, which I got to know during this time.

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