Bertrand's random-chord paradox purports to illustrate the inconsistency of the principle of indifference when applied to problems in which the number of possible cases is infinite. This paper shows that Bertrand's original problem is vaguely posed, but demonstrates that clearly stated variations lead to different, but theoretically and empirically self-consistent solutions. The resolution of the paradox lies in appreciating how different geometric entities, represented by uniformly distributed random variables, give rise to respectively different nonuniform distributions of random chords, and hence (...) to different probabilities. The principle of indifference appears consistently applicable to infinite sets provided that problems can be formulated unambiguously. (shrink)
Hamilton games-theoretic conflict model, which applies Maynard Smith's concept of evolutionarily stable strategy to the Prisoner's Dilemma, gives rise to an inconsistency between theoretical prescription and empirical results. Proposed resolutions of thisproblem are incongruent with the tenets of the models involved. The independent consistency of each model is restored, and the anomaly thereby circumvented, by a proof that no evolutionarily stable strategy exists in the Prisoner's Dilemma.
Abstract In an engaging and ingenious paper, Irvine (1993) purports to show how the resolution of Braess? paradox can be applied to Newcomb's problem. To accomplish this end, Irvine forges three links. First, he couples Braess? paradox to the Cohen?Kelly queuing paradox. Second, he couples the Cohen?Kelly queuing paradox to the Prisoner's Dilemma (PD). Third, in accord with received literature, he couples the PD to Newcomb's problem itself. Claiming that the linked models are ?structurally identical?, he argues that Braess solves (...) Newcomb's problem. This paper shows that Irvine's linkage depends on structural similarities?rather than identities?between and among the models. The elucidation of functional disanalogies illuminates structural dissimilarities which sever that linkage. I claim that the Cohen?Kelly queuing paradox cloaks a fine structure that decouples it from both Braess? paradox and the PD (Marinoff, 1996a). I further assert that the putative reduction of the PD to a Newcomb problem (e.g. Brams, 1975; Lewis, 1979) is seriously flawed. It follows that Braess? paradox does not solve Newcomb's problem via the foregoing and herein sundered chain. I conclude by substantiating a stronger claim, namely that Braess'paradox cannot solve Newcomb's problem at all. (shrink)