The newxin puzzle

Philosophical Studies 139 (3):415 - 422 (2008)
A variety of thought experiments suggest that, if the standard picture of practical rationality is correct, then practical rationality is sometimes an obstacle to practical success. For some, this in turn suggests that there is something wrong with the standard picture. In particular, it has been argued that we should revise the standard picture so that practical rationality and practical success emerge as more closely connected than the current picture allows. In this paper, I construct a choice situation—which I refer to as the Newxin puzzle—and discuss its implications in relation to the revisionist approach just described. Using the Newxin puzzle, I argue that the approach leads to a more radically revisionist picture of practical rationality than current debate suggests
Keywords Constrained maximization  Deliberation  Expected utility  Gauthier  Kavka  McClennen  Newcomb’s problem  Nozick  Practical rationality  Resoluteness  Straightforward maximization
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