David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 76 (1):83 - 121 (1988)
This paper treats two problem cases in decision theory, the Newcomb problem and Reed Richter''s Button III. Although I argue that, contrary to Richter, the latter case does not constitute a genuine counterexample to a standard general proposition of (causal) decision theory, I agree with and undertake to amplify his solution to the decision problem in Button III. I then apply the conclusions and distinctions in the foregoing treatment of Button III to the Newcomb problem and argue that a familiar version of the dominance argument for taking both boxes runs afoul of plausible general constraints on rational agency. The underlying theme of the paper is that basic considerations of epistemic coherence play an important role in dealing with problem cases in decision theory.
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References found in this work BETA
Stephen L. Darwall (1983). Impartial Reason. Cornell University Press.
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.
Gilbert Harman (1973). Thought. Princeton University Press.
Paul Helm & George Schlesinger (1978). Religion and Scientific Method. Philosophical Quarterly 28 (112):279.
Daniel Hunter & Reed Richter (1978). Counterfactuals and Newcomb's Paradox. Synthese 39 (2):249 - 261.
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