Impartiality and Causal Decision Theory

Defenders of sophisticated evidential decision theory (EDT) have argued (1) that its failure to provide correct recommendations in problems where the agent believes himself asymmetrically fallible in executing his choices is no flaw of the theory, and (2) that causal decision theory gives incorrect recommendations in certain examples unless it is supplemented with an additional metatickle or ratifiability deliberation mechanism. In the first part of this paper, I argue that both positions are incorrect. In the second part of the paper, I show how the agent's preferences involved in standard counterexamples to EDT, such as Newcomb's problem, violate the Jeffrey/Bolker preference axioms, specifically the Impartiality axiom.
Keywords causal decision theory  evidential decision theory  eells  metatickle defense  ratifiable choice  jeffrey  bolker  impartiality axiom  deliberation dynamics
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Ellery Eells (1984). Causal Decision Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:177 - 200.
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