Newcomb's Hidden Regress

Theory and Decision 54 (2):151-162 (2003)
Abstract
Newcomb's problem supposedly involves your choosing one or else two boxes in circumstances in which a predictor has made a prediction of how many boxes you will choose. We argue that the circumstances which allegedly define Newcomb's problem generate a previously unnoticed regress which shows that Newcomb's problem is insoluble because it is ill-formed. Those who favor, as we do, a ``no-box'' reply to Newcomb's problem typically claim either that the problem's solution is underdetermined or else that it is overdetermined. We are no-boxers of the first kind, but the underdetermination we identify is more radical than any previously identified: it blocks the very set-up of the problem and not just potential solutions to the problem once it has been set up. The defect is subtle, but it cripples every genuine version of the problem, regardless of variations in such things as the predictor's degree of reliability, the basis on which the prediction is made, or the amount of money in each box. The regress shows that, surprisingly enough, no one can understand Newcomb's problem, and so no one can possibly solve it
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Chrisoula Andreou (2008). The Newxin Puzzle. Philosophical Studies 139 (3):415 - 422.
    Similar books and articles
    A. D. Irvine (1993). How Braess' Paradox Solves Newcomb's Problem. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (2):141 – 160.
    Louis Marinoff (1996). How Braess' Paradox Solves Newcomb's Problem: Not! International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (3):217 – 237.
    Jan Hendrik Schmidt (1998). Newcomb's Paradox Realized with Backward Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):67-87.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-09-02

    Total downloads

    11 ( #112,983 of 1,088,873 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,661 of 1,088,873 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


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