The two-envelope paradox: An axiomatic approach

Mind 114 (454):239-248 (2005)
There has been much discussion on the two-envelope paradox. Clark and Shackel (2000) have proposed a solution to the paradox, which has been refuted by Meacham and Weisberg (2003). Surprisingly, however, the literature still contains no axiomatic justification for the claim that one should be indifferent between the two envelopes before opening one of them. According to Meacham and Weisberg, "decision theory does not rank swapping against sticking [before opening any envelope]" (p. 686). To fill this gap in the literature, we present a simple axiomatic justification for indifference, avoiding any expectation reasoning, which is often considered problematic in infinite cases. Although the two-envelope paradox assumes an expectation-maximizing agent, we show that analogous paradoxes arise for agents using different decision principles such as maximin and maximax, and that our justification for indifference before opening applies here too.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzi239
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

51 ( #66,734 of 1,725,949 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #37,228 of 1,725,949 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.