Reeling and a-reasoning: Surprise examinations and newcomb's tale

Philosophy 79 (4):609-616 (2004)
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Certain paradoxes set us reeling endlessly. In surprise examination paradoxes, pupils' reasonings lead them to reel between expecting an examination and expecting none. With Newcomb's puzzle, choosers reel between reasoning in favour of choosing just one box and choosing two. The paradoxes demand an answer to what it is rational to believe or do. Highlighting other reelings and puzzles, this paper shows that the paradoxes should come as no surprise. The paradoxes demand an end to our reasoning when the conditions they set ensure no end. They equivocate between, so to speak, reasoning in heaven and reasoning on earth; and, on the conditions set, not even an infinite god could reach a conclusion.



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Peter Cave
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

The Solution to the Surprise Exam Paradox.Ken Levy - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (2):131-158.
'About' puzzles, muddles and first person inferences.Peter Cave - 2005 - Philosophical Investigations 29 (1):51–72.
With and without end.Peter Cave - 2007 - Philosophical Investigations 30 (2):105–126.

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