Objective chance, indicative conditionals and decision theory; or, how you can be Smart, rich and keep on smoking
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 75 (1):83 - 105 (1988)
In this paper I explore a version of standard (expected utility) decision theory in which the probability parameter is interpreted as an objective chance believed by agents to obtain and values of this parameter are fixed by indicative conditionals linking possible actions with possible outcomes. After reviewing some recent developments centering on the common-cause counterexamples to the standard approach, I introduce and briefly discuss the key notions in my own approach. (This approach has essentially the same results as the causal approach in common-cause cases.) I then discuss the Rule of Dominance and find, in the context of the present proposal, that it cannot serve as an independent source of action justification. Turning next to Newcomb''s Problem, I argue that the much discussed issue of back-tracking counterfactuals is something of a red herring for decision theory. Once the twin distractions of back-tracking counterfactuals and Dominance Reasoning are set aside the 1-box solution emerges as a natural consequence of the present proposal. It is of interest that this proposal agrees with the causal approach in the standard common-cause examples and the expected-utility approach in the Newcomb case: one can be smart and rich and keep on smoking.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Ernest W. Adams (1975). The Logic of Conditionals: An Application of Probability to Deductive Logic. D. Reidel Pub. Co..
Terence Horgan (1981). Counterfactuals and Newcomb's Problem. Journal of Philosophy 78 (6):331-356.
Frank Jackson & Robert Pargetter (1983). Where the Tickle Defence Goes Wrong. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):295 – 299.
Richard Jeffrey (1983). The Logic of Decision. University of Chicago Press.
David Lewis (1973). Causation. Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Martin Peterson (2004). From Outcomes to Acts: A Non-Standard Axiomatization of the Expected Utility Principle. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (4):361-378.
James M. Joyce (2000). Why We Still Need the Logic of Decision. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):13.
Paul Weirich (1988). Hierarchical Maximization of Two Kinds of Expected Utility. Philosophy of Science 55 (4):560-582.
Johan E. Gustafsson (2011). A Note in Defence of Ratificationism. Erkenntnis 75 (1):147–150.
Robin Pope (2000). Reconciliation with the Utility of Chance by Elaborated Outcomes Destroys the Axiomatic Basis of Expected Utility Theory. Theory and Decision 49 (3):223-234.
Daniel Hunter & Reed Richter (1978). Counterfactuals and Newcomb's Paradox. Synthese 39 (2):249 - 261.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #119,850 of 1,413,371 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #154,345 of 1,413,371 )
How can I increase my downloads?