Authors
Jeffrey Sanford Russell
University of Southern California
Yoaav Isaacs
Baylor University
Abstract
People with the kind of preferences that give rise to the St. Petersburg paradox are problematic---but not because there is anything wrong with infinite utilities. Rather, such people cannot assign the St. Petersburg gamble any value that any kind of outcome could possibly have. Their preferences also violate an infinitary generalization of Savage's Sure Thing Principle, which we call the *Countable Sure Thing Principle*, as well as an infinitary generalization of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Independence axiom, which we call *Countable Independence*. In violating these principles, they display foibles like those of people who deviate from standard expected utility theory in more mundane cases: they choose dominated strategies, pay to avoid information, and reject expert advice. We precisely characterize the preference relations that satisfy Countable Independence in several equivalent ways: a structural constraint on preferences, a representation theorem, and the principle we began with, that every prospect has a value that some outcome could have.
Keywords infinite decision theory  St. Petersburg paradox  dominance principles  unbounded utilities  infinite utilities
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12704
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Surreal Decisions.Eddy Keming Chen & Daniel Rubio - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):54-74.
Evidence: A Guide for the Uncertain.Kevin Dorst - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):586-632.
Time-Slice Rationality.Brian Hedden - 2015 - Mind 124 (494):449-491.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Duty and Knowledge.Yoaav Isaacs - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):95-110.
Fine-Tuning Fine-Tuning.John Hawthorne & Yoaav Isaacs - 2018 - In Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Dani Rabinowitz (eds.), Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 136-168.
The Fallacy of Calibrationism.Yoaav Isaacs - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):247-260.
Permissivism, Margin-for-Error, and Dominance.John Hawthorne & Yoaav Isaacs - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):515-532.
Quality and Quantifiers.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):562-577.
Russell's Unpublished Writings on Truth and Denoting.Jeffrey Skosnik - 1972 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies:12.
Russell's Unpublished Writings on Truth and Denoting.Jeffrey Skosnik - 1987 - Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 7:12.
Sleeping Beauty's Evidence.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton M. Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
Postscript on Method: Editorial Note.Alick Isaacs & Jeffrey M. Perl - 2002 - Common Knowledge 8 (1):147-151.
Misapprehensions About the Fine-Tuning Argument.John Hawthorne & Yoaav Isaacs - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 81:133-155.
A Patchwork Epistemology of Disagreement?Yoaav Isaacs - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1873-1885.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-04-25

Total views
314 ( #26,733 of 2,426,577 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
65 ( #11,530 of 2,426,577 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes