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The philosopher’s paradox: How to make a coherent decision in the Newcomb Problem

Viger, Christopher and Hoefer, Carl and Viger, Daniel (2019) The philosopher’s paradox: How to make a coherent decision in the Newcomb Problem. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 34 (3). pp. 407-421. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

We offer a novel argument for one-boxing in Newcomb’s Problem. The intentional states of a rational person are psychologically coherent across time, and rational decisions are made against this backdrop. We compare this coherence constraint with a golf swing, which to be effective must include a follow-through after the ball is in flight. Decisions, like golf swings, are extended processes, and their coherence with other psychological states of a player in the Newcomb scenario links her choice with the way she is predicted in a common cause structure. As a result, the standard argument for two-boxing is mistaken.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Viger, Christophercviger@uwo.ca
Hoefer, Carlcarl.hoefer@ub.edu
Viger, Danieldviger2@uwo.ca
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Newcomb problem; rationality; causal decision theory; evidential decision theory; causation; counterfactuals
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Evidence
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2019 00:28
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2019 00:28
Item ID: 16711
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: https://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.20040
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Evidence
Date: September 2019
Page Range: pp. 407-421
Volume: 34
Number: 3
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16711

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