David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 156 (3):537 - 562 (2007)
Richard Jeffrey long held that decision theory should be formulated without recourse to explicitly causal notions. Newcomb problems stand out as putative counterexamples to this ‘evidential’ decision theory. Jeffrey initially sought to defuse Newcomb problems via recourse to the doctrine of ratificationism, but later came to see this as problematic. We will see that Jeffrey’s worries about ratificationism were not compelling, but that valid ratificationist arguments implicitly presuppose causal decision theory. In later work, Jeffrey argued that Newcomb problems are not decisions at all because agents who face them possess so much evidence about correlations between their actions and states of the world that they are unable to regard their deliberate choices as causes of outcomes, and so cannot see themselves as making free choices. Jeffrey’s reasoning goes wrong because it fails to recognize that an agent’s beliefs about her immediately available acts are so closely tied to the immediate causes of these actions that she can create evidence that outweighs any antecedent correlations between acts and states. Once we recognize that deliberating agents are free to believe what they want about their own actions, it will be clear that Newcomb problems are indeed counterexamples to evidential decision theory
|Keywords||Newcomb Problem Richard Jeffrey Causal Decision Theory Evidential Decision Theory Ratifiability Freedom|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Brad Armendt (1986). A Foundation for Causal Decision Theory. Topoi 5 (1):3-19.
Frank Arntzenius (1992). The Common Cause Principle. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:227 - 237.
Nancy Cartwright (1979). Causal Laws and Effective Strategies. Noûs 13 (4):419-437.
Allan Gibbard & William Harper (1978). Counterfactuals and Two Kinds of Expected Utility. In A. Hooker, J. J. Leach & E. F. McClennen (eds.), Foundations and Applications of Decision Theory. D. Reidel. 125-162.
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1996). Causal Decision Theory and Decision-Theoretic Causation. Noûs 30 (4):508-526.
Citations of this work BETA
Arif Ahmed & Huw Price (2012). Arntzenius on 'Why Ain'cha Rich?'. Erkenntnis 77 (1):15-30.
James M. Joyce (2012). Regret and Instability in Causal Decision Theory. Synthese 187 (1):123-145.
John Cantwell (2010). On an Alleged Counter-Example to Causal Decision Theory. Synthese 173 (2):127 - 152.
Similar books and articles
Jordan Howard Sobel (1986). Metatickles and Ratificationism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:342 - 351.
Arif Ahmed (2005). Evidential Decision Theory and Medical Newcomb Problems. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):191-198.
Brad Armendt (1988). Impartiality and Causal Decision Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:326 - 336.
James M. Joyce (2000). Why We Still Need the Logic of Decision. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):13.
Reed Richter (1984). Rationality Revisited. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
Patrick Maher (1990). Symptomatic Acts and the Value of Evidence in Causal Decision Theory. Philosophy of Science 57 (3):479-498.
Peter Slezak (2006). Demons, Deceivers And Liars: Newcomb's Malin Génie. [REVIEW] Theory and Decision 61 (3):277-303.
Jordan Howard Sobel (1991). Non-Dominance, Third Person and Non-Action Newcomb Problems, and Metatickles. Synthese 86 (2):143 - 172.
Huw Price (1986). Against Causal Decision Theory. Synthese 67 (2):195 - 212.
W. J. Talbott (1987). Standard and Non-Standard Newcomb Problems. Synthese 70 (3):415 - 458.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads68 ( #30,946 of 1,696,296 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #77,991 of 1,696,296 )
How can I increase my downloads?