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
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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.
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