Philosophies 2 (2):11 (2017)

In An Introduction to Probability Theory and its Applications, W. Feller established a way of ending the St. Petersburg paradox by the introduction of an entrance fee, and provided it for the case in which the game is played with a fair coin. A natural generalization of his method is to establish the entrance fee for the case in which the probability of heads is θ. The deduction of those fees is the main result of Section 2. We then propose a Bayesian approach to the problem. When the probability of heads is θ the expected gain of the St. Petersburg game is finite, therefore there is no paradox. However, if one takes θ as a random variable assuming values in the paradox may hold, which is counter-intuitive. In Section 3 we determine necessary conditions for the absence of paradox in the Bayesian approach and in Section 4 we establish the entrance fee for the case in which θ is uniformly distributed in, for in this case there is a paradox.
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DOI 10.3390/philosophies2020011
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