Erkenntnis 77 (1):15-30 (2012)

Authors
Arif Ahmed
Cambridge University
Abstract
The best-known argument for Evidential Decision Theory (EDT) is the ‘Why ain’cha rich?’ challenge to rival Causal Decision Theory (CDT). The basis for this challenge is that in Newcomb-like situations, acts that conform to EDT may be known in advance to have the better return than acts that conform to CDT. Frank Arntzenius has recently proposed an ingenious counter argument, based on an example in which, he claims, it is predictable in advance that acts that conform to EDT will do less well than acts that conform to CDT. We raise two objections to Arntzenius’s example. We argue, first, that the example is subtly incoherent, in a way that undermines its effectiveness against EDT; and, second, that the example relies on calculating the average return over an inappropriate population of acts
Keywords Decision Theory  Newcomb's Problem
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Reprint years 2011, 2012
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9355-2
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References found in this work BETA

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Causal Decision Theory.David Lewis - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
Rational Decision and Causality.Ellery Eells - 1982 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Modal Realism is a Newcomb Problem.Scott Hill - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-13.

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Impartiality and Causal Decision Theory.Brad Armendt - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:326 - 336.
”Why Ain’Cha Rich?’.David Lewis - 1981 - Noûs 15 (3):377-380.

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