Against causal decision theory

Synthese 67 (2):195 - 212 (1986)
Abstract
Proponents of causal decision theories argue that classical Bayesian decision theory (BDT) gives the wrong advice in certain types of cases, of which the clearest and commonest are the medical Newcomb problems. I defend BDT, invoking a familiar principle of statistical inference to show that in such cases a free agent cannot take the contemplated action to be probabilistically relevant to its causes (so that BDT gives the right answer). I argue that my defence does better than those of Ellery Eells and Richard Jeffrey; and that it applies, where necessary, to other types of Newcomb problem.
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    References found in this work BETA
    David Lewis (1981). Causal Decision Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
    David Lewis (1979). Prisoners' Dilemma is a Newcomb Problem. Philosophy and Public Affairs 8 (3):235-240.

    View all 9 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Arif Ahmed (2010). Causation and Decision. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2):111-131.

    View all 10 citations

    Similar books and articles
    Arif Ahmed (2005). Evidential Decision Theory and Medical Newcomb Problems. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):191-198.
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    David Lewis (1981). Causal Decision Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
    Ellery Eells (1984). Causal Decision Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:177 - 200.
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