Graduate studies at Western
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (2):141 – 160 (1993)
|Abstract||Abstract Newcomb's problem is regularly described as a problem arising from equally defensible yet contradictory models of rationality. Braess? paradox is regularly described as nothing more than the existence of non?intuitive (but ultimately non?contradictory) equilibrium points within physical networks of various kinds. Yet it can be shown that Newcomb's problem is structurally identical to Braess? paradox. Both are instances of a well?known result in game theory, namely that equilibria of non?cooperative games are generally Pareto?inefficient. Newcomb's problem is simply a limiting case in which the number of players equals one. Braess? paradox is another limiting case in which the ?players? need not be assumed to be discrete individuals. The result is that Newcomb's problem is no more difficult to solve than (the easy to solve) Braess? paradox|
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