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  1. Laws of Nature and Counterparts.Esteban Cespedes - 2011 - Kritike 5 (2):185-196.
    The events of nature are, at first glance, related to each other in a necessary way, as if they were subject to certain rules, a fact that is closely linked with the ontology of natural laws. However, there are several conflicting theories about their existence, such as the Humean view as well as realism. Mumford proposes a third way: to accept natural regularity, but deny that this is due to the real existence of natural laws. Finally, some ideas about a (...)
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  • Causation, Chance, and the Rational Significance of Supernatural Evidence.Huw Price - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (4):483-538.
    In “A Subjectivist’s Guide to Objective Chance,” David Lewis says that he is “led to wonder whether anyone but a subjectivist is in a position to understand objective chance.” The present essay aims to motivate this same Lewisean attitude, and a similar degree of modest subjectivism, with respect to objective causation. The essay begins with Newcomb problems, which turn on an apparent tension between two principles of choice: roughly, a principle sensitive to the causal features of the relevant situation, and (...)
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  • A Deliberative Approach to Causation.Fernandes Alison Sutton - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):686-708.
    Fundamental physics makes no clear use of causal notions; it uses laws that operate in relevant respects in both temporal directions and that relate whole systems across times. But by relating causation to evidence, we can explain how causation fits in to a physical picture of the world and explain its temporal asymmetry. This paper takes up a deliberative approach to causation, according to which causal relations correspond to the evidential relations we need when we decide on one thing in (...)
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  • Newcomb’s Problem and Repeated Prisoners’ Dilemmas.Christoph Schmidt-Petri - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1160-1173.
    I present a game-theoretic way to understand the situation describing Newcomb’s Problem (NP) which helps to explain the intuition of both one-boxers and two-boxers. David Lewis has shown that the NP may be modelled as a Prisoners Dilemma game (PD) in which ‘cooperating’ corresponds to ‘taking one box’. Adopting relevant results from game theory, this means that one should take just one box if the NP is repeated an indefinite number of times, but both boxes if it is a one-shot (...)
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  • Conditionals in Causal Decision Theory.John Cantwell - 2013 - Synthese 190 (4):661-679.
    This paper explores the possibility that causal decision theory can be formulated in terms of probabilities of conditionals. It is argued that a generalized Stalnaker semantics in combination with an underlying branching time structure not only provides the basis for a plausible account of the semantics of indicative conditionals, but also that the resulting conditionals have properties that make them well-suited as a basis for formulating causal decision theory. Decision theory (at least if we omit the frills) is not an (...)
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  • The Real Reason Why the Prisoner’s Dilemma is Not a Newcomb Problem.Mark Thomas Walker - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):841-859.
    It is commonly thought, in line with the position defended in an influential paper by David Lewis, that the decision problems faced in the prisoner’s dilemma and the Newcomb situation are essentially the same problem. José Luis Bermúdez has recently attacked the case Lewis makes for this claim. While I think the claim is false, I contend that Bermúdez’s reason for rejecting Lewis’s argument is inadequate, and then outline what I take to be a better reason for doing so.
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  • A Robust Resolution of Newcomb’s Paradox.Thomas A. Weber - 2016 - Theory and Decision 81 (3):339-356.
    Newcomb’s problem is viewed as a dynamic game with an agent and a superior being as players. Depending on whether or not a risk-neutral agent’s confidence in the superior being, as measured by a subjective probability assigned to the move order, exceeds a threshold or not, one obtains the one-box outcome or the two-box outcome, respectively. The findings are extended to an agent with arbitrary increasing utility, featuring in general two thresholds. All solutions require only minimal assumptions about the being’s (...)
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  • Non-Measurability, Imprecise Credences, and Imprecise Chances.Yoaav Isaacs, Alan Hájek & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Mind:fzab031.
    We offer a new motivation for imprecise probabilities. We argue that there are propositions to which precise probability cannot be assigned, but to which imprecise probability can be assigned. In such cases the alternative to imprecise probability is not precise probability, but no probability at all. And an imprecise probability is substantially better than no probability at all. Our argument is based on the mathematical phenomenon of non-measurable sets. Non-measurable propositions cannot receive precise probabilities, but there is a natural way (...)
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  • Infallibility in the Newcomb Problem.Arif Ahmed - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):261-273.
    It is intuitively attractive to think that it makes a difference in Newcomb’s problem whether or not the predictor is infallible, in the sense of being certainly actually correct. This paper argues that that view is irrational and manifests a well-documented cognitive illusion.
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  • Hierarchical Maximization of Two Kinds of Expected Utility.Paul Weirich - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):560-582.
    Causal decision theory produces decision instability in cases such as Death in Damascus where a decision itself provides evidence concerning the utility of options. Several authors have proposed ways of handling this instability. William Harper (1985 and 1986) advances one of the most elegant proposals. He recommends maximizing causal expected utility among the options that are causally ratifiable. Unfortunately, Harper's proposal imposes certain restrictions; for instance, the restriction that mixed strategies are freely available. To obtain a completely general method of (...)
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  • Act Consequentialism Without Free Rides.Preston Greene & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):88-116.
    Consequentialist theories determine rightness solely based on real or expected consequences. Although such theories are popular, they often have difficulty with generalizing intuitions, which demand concern for questions like “What if everybody did that?” Rule consequentialism attempts to incorporate these intuitions by shifting the locus of evaluation from the consequences of acts to those of rules. However, detailed rule-consequentialist theories seem ad hoc or arbitrary compared to act consequentialist ones. We claim that generalizing can be better incorporated into consequentialism by (...)
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  • Approval-Directed Agency and the Decision Theory of Newcomb-Like Problems.Caspar Oesterheld - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 27):6491-6504.
    Decision theorists disagree about how instrumentally rational agents, i.e., agents trying to achieve some goal, should behave in so-called Newcomb-like problems, with the main contenders being causal and evidential decision theory. Since the main goal of artificial intelligence research is to create machines that make instrumentally rational decisions, the disagreement pertains to this field. In addition to the more philosophical question of what the right decision theory is, the goal of AI poses the question of how to implement any given (...)
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  • Newcomb’s Problem Isn’T a Choice Dilemma.Zhanglyu Li & Frank Zenker - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5125-5143.
    Newcomb’s problem involves a decision-maker faced with a choice and a predictor forecasting this choice. The agents’ interaction seems to generate a choice dilemma once the decision-maker seeks to apply two basic principles of rational choice theory : maximize expected utility ; adopt the dominant strategy. We review unsuccessful attempts at pacifying the dilemma by excluding Newcomb’s problem as an RCT-application, by restricting MEU and ADS, and by allowing for backward causation. A probability approach shows that Newcomb’s original problem-formulation lacks (...)
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  • Diachronic Dutch Books and Sleeping Beauty.Kai Draper & Joel Pust - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):281 - 287.
    Hitchcock advances a diachronic Dutch Book argument (DDB) for a 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem. Bradley and Leitgeb argue that Hitchcock’s DDB argument fails. We demonstrate the following: (a) Bradley and Leitgeb’s criticism of Hitchcock is unconvincing; (b) nonetheless, there are serious reasons to worry about the success of Hitchcock’s argument; (c) however, it is possible to construct a new DDB for 1/3 about which such worries cannot be raised.
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  • Divine Foreknowledge and Newcomb's Paradox.William Lane Craig - 1987 - Philosophia 17 (3):331-350.
    Newcomb's Paradox thus serves as an illustrative vindication of the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom. A proper understanding of the counterfactual conditionals involved enables us to see that the pastness of God's knowledge serves neither to make God's beliefs counterfactually closed nor to rob us of genuine freedom. It is evident that our decisions determine God's past beliefs about those decisions and do so without invoking an objectionable backward causation. It is also clear that in the context of (...)
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  • Ratificationism Without Ratification: Jeffrey Meets Savage.Wlodzimierz Rabinowicz - 1985 - Theory and Decision 19 (2):171-200.
  • Objective Chance, Indicative Conditionals and Decision Theory; or, How You Can Be Smart, Rich and Keep on Smoking.Thomas C. Vinci - 1988 - Synthese 75 (1):83 - 105.
    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 (...)
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  • Standard and Non-Standard Newcomb Problems.W. J. Talbott - 1987 - Synthese 70 (3):415 - 458.
    Examples involving common causes — most prominently, examples involving genetically influenced choices — are analytically equivalent not to standard Newcomb Problems — in which the Predictor genuinely predicts the agent's decision — but to non-standard Newcomb Problems — in which the Predictor guarantees the truth of her predictions by interfering with the agent's decision to make the agent choose as it was predicted she would. When properly qualified, causal and epistemic decision theories diverge only on standard — not on non-standard (...)
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  • Mixed Strategies and Ratifiability in Causal Decision Theory.William Harper - 1986 - Erkenntnis 24 (1):25 - 36.
  • Psychological Determinism and Rationality.Ruth Weintraub - 1995 - Erkenntnis 43 (1):67-79.
    There are arguments which purport to rebut psychological determinism by appealing to its alleged incompatibility with rationality. I argue that they all fail. Against Davidson, I argue that rationality does not preclude the existence of psychological laws. Against Popper, I argue that rationality is compatible with the possibility of predicting human actions. Against Schlesinger, I claim that Newcomb's problem cannot be invoked to show that human actions are unpredictable. Having vindicated the possibility of a rationally-based theory of action, I consider (...)
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  • Rational monism and rational pluralism.Jack Spencer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1769-1800.
    Consequentialists often assume rational monism: the thesis that options are always made rationally permissible by the maximization of the selfsame quantity. This essay argues that consequentialists should reject rational monism and instead accept rational pluralism: the thesis that, on different occasions, options are made rationally permissible by the maximization of different quantities. The essay then develops a systematic form of rational pluralism which, unlike its rivals, is capable of handling both the Newcomb problems that challenge evidential decision theory and the (...)
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  • Frankfurt Cases and the Newcomb Problem.Arif Ahmed - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3391-3408.
    A standard argument for one-boxing in Newcomb’s Problem is ‘Why Ain’cha Rich?’, which emphasizes that one-boxers typically make a million dollars compared to the thousand dollars that two-boxers can expect. A standard reply is the ‘opportunity defence’: the two-boxers who made a thousand never had an opportunity to make more. The paper argues that the opportunity defence is unavailable to anyone who grants that in another case—a Frankfurt case—the agent is deprived of opportunities in the way that advocates of Frankfurt (...)
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  • Objective Value Is Always Newcombizable.Arif Ahmed & Jack Spencer - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1157-1192.
    This paper argues that evidential decision theory is incompatible with options having objective values. If options have objective values, then it should always be rationally permissible for an agent to choose an option if they are certain that the option uniquely maximizes objective value. But, as we show, if options have objective values and evidential decision theory is true, then it is not always rationally permissible for an agent to choose an option if they are certain that the option uniquely (...)
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  • Bridging Psychology and Game Theory Yields Interdependence Theory.Paul A. M. Van Lange & Marcello Gallucci - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):177-178.
    This commentary focuses on the parts of psychological game theory dealing with preference, as illustrated by team reasoning, and supports the conclusion that these theoretical notions do not contribute above and beyond existing theory in understanding social interaction. In particular, psychology and games are already bridged by a comprehensive, formal, and inherently psychological theory, interdependence theory (Kelley & Thibaut 1978; Kelley et al. 2003), which has been demonstrated to account for a wide variety of social interaction phenomena.
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  • Cooperation, Psychological Game Theory, and Limitations of Rationality in Social Interaction.Andrew M. Colman - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):139-153.
    Rational choice theory enjoys unprecedented popularity and influence in the behavioral and social sciences, but it generates intractable problems when applied to socially interactive decisions. In individual decisions, instrumental rationality is defined in terms of expected utility maximization. This becomes problematic in interactive decisions, when individuals have only partial control over the outcomes, because expected utility maximization is undefined in the absence of assumptions about how the other participants will behave. Game theory therefore incorporates not only rationality but also common (...)
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  • Causation, Decision Theory, and Bell’s Theorem: A Quantum Analogue of the Newcomb Problem.Eric G. Cavalcanti - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):569-597.
    I apply some of the lessons from quantum theory, in particular from Bell’s theorem, to a debate on the foundations of decision theory and causation. By tracing a formal analogy between the basic assumptions of causal decision theory (CDT)—which was developed partly in response to Newcomb’s problem— and those of a local hidden variable theory in the context of quantum mechanics, I show that an agent who acts according to CDT and gives any nonzero credence to some possible causal interpretations (...)
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  • Newcomb's Hidden Regress.Stephen Maitzen & Garnett Wilson - 2003 - Theory and Decision 54 (2):151-162.
    Newcomb's problem supposedly involves your choosing one or else two boxes in circumstances in which a predictor has made a prediction of how many boxes you will choose. We argue that the circumstances which allegedly define Newcomb's problem generate a previously unnoticed regress which shows that Newcomb's problem is insoluble because it is ill-formed. Those who favor, as we do, a ``no-box'' reply to Newcomb's problem typically claim either that the problem's solution is underdetermined or else that it is overdetermined. (...)
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  • Decision-Theoretic Pluralism.Adam Bales - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):801-818.
    A prominent philosophical debate concerns whether we should accept causal decision theory or evidential decision theory as our best theory of rational choice. However, instead of accepting one of these theories at the expense of the other, an alternative would be to accept that both theories play a partial role in the true account of rational choice. In this paper, I defend a pluralist account of this sort. In particular, I argue that rational permissibility is an indeterminate notion, with EDT (...)
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  • The Phenomenology of Choice.Emmanuel Baierlé - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Fribourg
  • Causal Decision Theory and the Fixity of the Past.Arif Ahmed - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):665-685.
    Causal decision theory (CDT) cares only about the effects of a contemplated act, not its causes. The article constructs a case in which CDT consequently recommends a bet that the agent is certain to lose, rather than a bet that she is certain to win. CDT is plainly giving wrong advice in this case. It therefore stands refuted. 1 The Argument2 The Argument in More Detail2.1 The betting mechanism2.2 Soft determinism2.3 The content of P 2.4 The argument again3 The Descriptive (...)
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  • Modal Realism is a Newcomb Problem.Scott Hill - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-13.
    Some philosophers worry that if modal realism is true, you have no reason to prevent evils. For if you prevent an evil, you’ll have a counterpart somewhere that allows a similar evil. And if you refrain, your counterpart will end up preventing the relevant evil. Either way one evil is prevented and one is allowed. Your act makes no difference. I argue that this is mistaken. If modal realism is true, you are in a variant of Newcomb’s Problem. And if (...)
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  • Newcomb's Many Solutions.Ellery Eells - 1984 - Theory and Decision 16 (1):59-105.
  • Circumstances and Dominance in a Causal Decision Theory.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1985 - Synthese 63 (2):167 - 202.
  • Conditioning and Intervening.Christopher Meek & Clark Glymour - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):1001-1021.
    We consider the dispute between causal decision theorists and evidential decision theorists over Newcomb-like problems. We introduce a framework relating causation and directed graphs developed by Spirtes et al. (1993) and evaluate several arguments in this context. We argue that much of the debate between the two camps is misplaced; the disputes turn on the distinction between conditioning on an event E as against conditioning on an event I which is an action to bring about E. We give the essential (...)
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  • Newcomb University: A Play in One Act.Adam Elga - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):212-221.
    Counter-intuitive consequences of both causal decision theory and evidential decision theory are dramatized. Each of those theories is thereby put under some pressure to supply an error theory to explain away intuitions that seem to favour the other. Because trouble is stirred up for both sides, complacency about Newcomb’s problem is discouraged.
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  • "Click!" Bait for Causalists.Huw Price & Yang Liu - 2018 - In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Newcomb's Problem. Cambridge ; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 160-179.
    Causalists and Evidentialists can agree about the right course of action in an (apparent) Newcomb problem, if the causal facts are not as initially they seem. If declining $1,000 causes the Predictor to have placed $1m in the opaque box, CDT agrees with EDT that one-boxing is rational. This creates a difficulty for Causalists. We explain the problem with reference to Dummett's work on backward causation and Lewis's on chance and crystal balls. We show that the possibility that the causal (...)
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  • A Resource-Bounded Agent Addresses the Newcomb Problem.John L. Pollock - 2010 - Synthese 176 (1):57-82.
    In the Newcomb problem, the standard arguments for taking either one box or both boxes adduce what seem to be relevant considerations, but they are not complete arguments, and attempts to complete the arguments rely upon incorrect principles of rational decision making. It is argued that by considering how the predictor is making his prediction, we can generate a more complete argument, and this in turn supports a form of causal decision theory.
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  • Newcomb's Paradox: A Realist Resolution.N. Jacobi - 1993 - Theory and Decision 35 (1):1-17.
  • The Logic of Dominance Reasoning.John Cantwell - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 35 (1):41-63.
    The logic of dominance arguments is analyzed using two different kinds of conditionals: indicative (epistemic) and subjunctive (counter-factual). It is shown that on the indicative interpretation an assumption of independence is needed for a dominance argument to go through. It is also shown that on the subjunctive interpretation no assumption of independence is needed once the standard premises of the dominance argument are true, but that independence plays an important role in arguing for the truth of the premises of the (...)
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  • Decision Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 57-106.
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  • ‘Nice Soft Facts’: Fischer on Foreknowledge.William Lane Craig - 1989 - Religious Studies 25 (2):235 - 246.