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  1. 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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  • Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):67-94.
    Evidentialism is the thesis that epistemic justification for belief supervenes on evidential support. However, we claim there are cases in which, even though two subjects have the same evidential support for a proposition, only one of them is justified. What make the difference are pragmatic factors, factors having to do with our cares and concerns. Our argument against evidentialism is not based on intuitions about particular cases. Rather, we aim to provide a theoretical basis for rejecting evidentialism by defending a (...)
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  • Waging War on Pascal’s Wager.Alan Hájek - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):27-56.
    Pascal’s Wager is simply too good to be true—or better, too good to be sound. There must be something wrong with Pascal’s argument that decision-theoretic reasoning shows that one must (resolve to) believe in God, if one is rational. No surprise, then, that critics of the argument are easily found, or that they have attacked it on many fronts. For Pascal has given them no dearth of targets.
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  • The Structure of Epistemic Probabilities.Nevin Climenhaga - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3213-3242.
    The epistemic probability of A given B is the degree to which B evidentially supports A, or makes A plausible. This paper is a first step in answering the question of what determines the values of epistemic probabilities. I break this question into two parts: the structural question and the substantive question. Just as an object’s weight is determined by its mass and gravitational acceleration, some probabilities are determined by other, more basic ones. The structural question asks what probabilities are (...)
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  • Jeffrey conditionalization: proceed with caution.Borut Trpin - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2985-3012.
    It has been argued that if the rigidity condition is satisfied, a rational agent operating with uncertain evidence should update her subjective probabilities by Jeffrey conditionalization or else a series of bets resulting in a sure loss could be made against her. We show, however, that even if the rigidity condition is satisfied, it is not always safe to update probability distributions by JC because there exist such sequences of non-misleading uncertain observations where it may be foreseen that an agent (...)
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  • A Preference Semantics for Imperatives.William B. Starr - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 20.
    Imperative sentences like Dance! do not seem to represent the world. Recent modal analyses challenge this idea, but its intuitive and historical appeal remain strong. This paper presents three new challenges for a non-representational analysis, showing that the obstacles facing it are even steeper than previously appreciated. I will argue that the only way for the non-representationalist to meet these three challenges is to adopt a dynamic semantics. Such a dynamic semantics is proposed here: imperatives introduce preferences between alternatives. This (...)
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  • Admissibility Troubles for Bayesian Direct Inference Principles.Christian Wallmann & James Hawthorne - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):957-993.
    Direct inferences identify certain probabilistic credences or confirmation-function-likelihoods with values of objective chances or relative frequencies. The best known version of a direct inference principle is David Lewis’s Principal Principle. Certain kinds of statements undermine direct inferences. Lewis calls such statements inadmissible. We show that on any Bayesian account of direct inference several kinds of intuitively innocent statements turn out to be inadmissible. This may pose a significant challenge to Bayesian accounts of direct inference. We suggest some ways in which (...)
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  • Reconsidering Authority.Michael Strevens - 2010 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology Volume 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 294-330.
    How to regard the weight we give to a proposition on the grounds of its being endorsed by an authority? I examine this question as it is raised within the epistemology of science, and I argue that “authority-based weight” should receive special handling, for the following reason. Our assessments of other scientists’ competence or authority are nearly always provisional, in the sense that to save time and money, they are not made nearly as carefully as they could be---indeed, they are (...)
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  • When Econs Are Human.John R. Welch - 2020 - Journal of Economic Methodology 27 (3):212-225.
    Econs are presumed to be unboundedly rational, while Humans are boundedly rational. Nevertheless, in certain conditions, Econs aiming to optimize would choose like Humans trying to satisfice. The conditions are imposed by Knightian uncertainty. Although expected utilities are incalculable in these conditions, an Econ could still optimize by relying on a comparative version of decision theory that takes inputs of comparative plausibility and desirability and produces outputs of plausibilistic expectation. The paper shows that comparative decision theory is a special case (...)
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  • Bayesian Confirmation or Ordinary Confirmation?Yongfeng Yuan - 2020 - Studia Logica 108 (3):425-449.
    This article reveals one general scheme for creating counter examples to Bayesian confirmation theory. The reason of the problems is that: in daily life the degree of confirmation is affected not only by probability but also by some non-probabilistic factors, e.g., structural similarity, quantity of evidence, and marginal utility, while Bayesian confirmation theory considers only probabilities to measure the degree of confirmation. This article resolves these problems after some detail analyses, and proposes a new confirmation measure based on these factors.
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  • Impossible Worlds.Mark Jago - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):713-728.
    Impossible worlds are representations of impossible things and impossible happenings. They earn their keep in a semantic or metaphysical theory if they do the right theoretical work for us. As it happens, a worlds-based account provides the best philosophical story about semantic content, knowledge and belief states, cognitive significance and cognitive information, and informative deductive reasoning. A worlds-based story may also provide the best semantics for counterfactuals. But to function well, all these accounts need use of impossible and as well (...)
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  • A Probabilistic Analysis of Argument Cogency.David Godden & Frank Zenker - 2016 - Synthese 195 (4):1715-1740.
    This paper offers a probabilistic treatment of the conditions for argument cogency as endorsed in informal logic: acceptability, relevance, and sufficiency. Treating a natural language argument as a reason-claim-complex, our analysis identifies content features of defeasible argument on which the RSA conditions depend, namely: change in the commitment to the reason, the reason’s sensitivity and selectivity to the claim, one’s prior commitment to the claim, and the contextually determined thresholds of acceptability for reasons and for claims. Results contrast with, and (...)
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  • Dr. Truthlove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bayesian Probabilities.Kenny Easwaran - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):816-853.
    Many philosophers have argued that "degree of belief" or "credence" is a more fundamental state grounding belief. Many other philosophers have been skeptical about the notion of "degree of belief", and take belief to be the only meaningful notion in the vicinity. This paper shows that one can take belief to be fundamental, and ground a notion of "degree of belief" in the patterns of belief, assuming that an agent has a collection of beliefs that isn't dominated by some other (...)
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  • A New Resolution of the Judy Benjamin Problem.Igor Douven & Jan-Willem Romeijn - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):637 - 670.
    A paper on how to adapt your probabilisitc beliefs when learning a conditional.
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  • Modelling Imitation with Sequential Games.Andrew M. Colman - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):686-687.
    A significant increase in the probability of an action resulting from observing that action performed by another agent cannot, on its own, provide persuasive evidence of imitation. Simple models of social influence based on two-person sequential games suggest that both imitation and pseudo-imitation can be explained by a process more fundamental than priming, namely, subjective utility maximization.
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  • Diachronic Dutch Books and Evidential Import.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):49-80.
    A handful of well-known arguments (the 'diachronic Dutch book arguments') rely upon theorems establishing that, in certain circumstances, you are immune from sure monetary loss (you are not 'diachronically Dutch bookable') if and only if you adopt the strategy of conditionalizing (or Jeffrey conditionalizing) on whatever evidence you happen to receive. These theorems require non-trivial assumptions about which evidence you might acquire---in the case of conditionalization, the assumption is that, if you might learn that e, then it is not the (...)
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  • Notes on Bayesian Confirmation Theory.Michael Strevens - manuscript
    Bayesian confirmation theory—abbreviated to in these notes—is the predominant approach to confirmation in late twentieth century philosophy of science. It has many critics, but no rival theory can claim anything like the same following. The popularity of the Bayesian approach is due to its flexibility, its apparently effortless handling of various technical problems, the existence of various a priori arguments for its validity, and its injection of subjective and contextual elements into the process of confirmation in just the places where (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds and Logical Omniscience: An Impossibility Result.Jens Christian Bjerring - 2013 - Synthese 190 (13):2505-2524.
    In this paper, I investigate whether we can use a world-involving framework to model the epistemic states of non-ideal agents. The standard possible-world framework falters in this respect because of a commitment to logical omniscience. A familiar attempt to overcome this problem centers around the use of impossible worlds where the truths of logic can be false. As we shall see, if we admit impossible worlds where “anything goes” in modal space, it is easy to model extremely non-ideal agents that (...)
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  • Belief Without Credence.J. Adam Carter, Benjamin W. Jarvis & Katherine Rubin - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2323-2351.
    One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be (...)
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  • Some Counterexamples to Causal Decision Theory.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):93-114.
    Many philosophers (myself included) have been converted to causal decision theory by something like the following line of argument: Evidential decision theory endorses irrational courses of action in a range of examples, and endorses “an irrational policy of managing the news”. These are fatal problems for evidential decision theory. Causal decision theory delivers the right results in the troublesome examples, and does not endorse this kind of irrational news-managing. So we should give up evidential decision theory, and be causal decision (...)
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  • Transformative Experience and the Knowledge Norms for Action: Moss on Paul’s Challenge to Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. New York, NY, USA:
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. 2015, Harman (...)
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  • Counterfactual Desirability.Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):485-533.
    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais Paradox. In this paper we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey's decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be desirability maximising. We (...)
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  • Bayesianism, Infinite Decisions, and Binding.Frank Arntzenius, Adam Elga & John Hawthorne - 2004 - Mind 113 (450):251 - 283.
    We pose and resolve several vexing decision theoretic puzzles. Some are variants of existing puzzles, such as 'Trumped' (Arntzenius and McCarthy 1997), 'Rouble trouble' (Arntzenius and Barrett 1999), 'The airtight Dutch book' (McGee 1999), and 'The two envelopes puzzle' (Broome 1995). Others are new. A unified resolution of the puzzles shows that Dutch book arguments have no force in infinite cases. It thereby provides evidence that reasonable utility functions may be unbounded and that reasonable credence functions need not be countably (...)
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  • Words About Young Minds: The Concepts of Theory, Representation, and Belief in Philosophy and Developmental Psychology.Eric Schwitzgebel - 1997 - Dissertation, University of California Berkeley
    In this dissertation, I examine three philosophically important concepts that play a foundational role in developmental psychology: theory, representation, and belief. I describe different ways in which the concepts have been understood and present reasons why a developmental psychologist, or a philosopher attuned to cognitive development, should prefer one understanding of these concepts over another.
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  • Diachronic Coherence and Radical Probabilism.Brian Skyrms - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):959-968.
    The question of diachronic coherence, coherence of degrees of belief across time, is investigated within the context of Richard Jeffrey’s radical probabilism. Diachronic coherence is taken as fundamental, and coherence results for degrees of belief at a single time, such as additivity, are recovered only with additional assumptions. Additivity of probabilities of probabilities is seen to be less problematic than additivity of first-order probabilities. Without any assumed model of belief change, diachronic coherence applied to higher-order degrees of belief yields the (...)
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  • Gambling with Death.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):271-281.
    Orthodox expected utility theory imposes too stringent restrictions on what attitudes to risk one can rationally hold. Focusing on a life-and-death gamble, I identify as the main culprit the theory’s Linearity property, according to which the utility of a particular change in the risk of a bad outcome is independent of the original level of risk. Finally, I argue that a recent non-standard Bayesian decision theory, that does not have this property, handles risky gambles better than the orthodox theory.
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  • Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
    It is valuable for inquiry to have researchers who are committed advocates of their own theories. However, in light of pervasive disagreement, such a commitment is not well explained by the idea that researchers believe their theories. Instead, this commitment, the rational attitude to take toward one’s favored theory during the course of inquiry, is what I call endorsement. Endorsement is a doxastic attitude, but one which is governed by a different type of epistemic rationality. This inclusive epistemic rationality is (...)
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  • * Psicologia Popular, Teoria da Decisão E Comportamento Humano Comum.António Zilhão - 2001 - Disputatio (10):1-21.
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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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  • Credence for conclusions: a brief for Jeffrey’s rule.John R. Welch - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2051-2072.
    Some arguments are good; others are not. How can we tell the difference? This article advances three proposals as a partial answer to this question. The proposals are keyed to arguments conditioned by different degrees of uncertainty: mild, where the argument’s premises are hedged with point-valued probabilities; moderate, where the premises are hedged with interval probabilities; and severe, where the premises are hedged with non-numeric plausibilities such as ‘very likely’ or ‘unconfirmed’. For mild uncertainty, the article proposes to apply a (...)
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  • Scientific Polarization.Cailin O’Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):855-875.
    Contemporary societies are often “polarized”, in the sense that sub-groups within these societies hold stably opposing beliefs, even when there is a fact of the matter. Extant models of polarization do not capture the idea that some beliefs are true and others false. Here we present a model, based on the network epistemology framework of Bala and Goyal, 784–811 1998), in which polarization emerges even though agents gather evidence about their beliefs, and true belief yields a pay-off advantage. As we (...)
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  • The Problem of State-Dependent Utility: A Reappraisal.Jean Baccelli - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz024.
    State-dependent utility is a problem for the behavioural branch of decision theory under uncertainty. It questions the very possibility that beliefs be revealed by choice data. According to the current literature, all models of beliefs are equally exposed to the problem. Moreover, the problem is solvable only when the decision-maker can influence the resolution of uncertainty. This article gives grounds to reject these two views. The various models of beliefs can be shown to be unequally exposed to the problem of (...)
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  • Objective Value Is Always Newcombizable.Arif Ahmed & Jack Spencer - forthcoming - Mind:fzz070.
    This paper argues that evidential decision theory is incompatible with options having objective values.
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  • Bayesian Epistemology.Stephan Hartmann & Jan Sprenger - 2010 - In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. London: Routledge. pp. 609-620.
    Bayesian epistemology addresses epistemological problems with the help of the mathematical theory of probability. It turns out that the probability calculus is especially suited to represent degrees of belief (credences) and to deal with questions of belief change, confirmation, evidence, justification, and coherence. Compared to the informal discussions in traditional epistemology, Bayesian epis- temology allows for a more precise and fine-grained analysis which takes the gradual aspects of these central epistemological notions into account. Bayesian epistemology therefore complements traditional epistemology; it (...)
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  • Normative Decision Theory.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):755-772.
    A review of some major topics of debate in normative decision theory from circa 2007 to 2019. Topics discussed include the ongoing debate between causal and evidential decision theory, decision instability, risk-weighted expected utility theory, decision-making with incomplete preferences, and decision-making with imprecise credences.
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  • The Foundations of Epistemic Decision Theory.Jason Konek & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):69-107.
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  • A Simpler and More Realistic Subjective Decision Theory.Haim Gaifman & Yang Liu - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4205--4241.
    In his classic book “the Foundations of Statistics” Savage developed a formal system of rational decision making. The system is based on (i) a set of possible states of the world, (ii) a set of consequences, (iii) a set of acts, which are functions from states to consequences, and (iv) a preference relation over the acts, which represents the preferences of an idealized rational agent. The goal and the culmination of the enterprise is a representation theorem: Any preference relation that (...)
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  • When Propriety is Improper.Kevin Blackwell & Daniel Drucker - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):367-386.
    We argue that philosophers ought to distinguish epistemic decision theory and epistemology, in just the way ordinary decision theory is distinguished from ethics. Once one does this, the internalist arguments that motivate much of epistemic decision theory make sense, given specific interpretations of the formalism. Making this distinction also causes trouble for the principle called Propriety, which says, roughly, that the only acceptable epistemic utility functions make probabilistically coherent credence functions immodest. We cast doubt on this requirement, but then argue (...)
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  • Construing Faith as Action Won't Save Pascal's Wager.Steve Petersen - 2006 - Philo 9 (2):221-229.
    Arthur Falk has proposed a new construal of faith according to which it is not a mere species of belief, but has essential components in action. This twist on faith promises to resurrect Pascal’s Wager, making faith compatible with reason by believing as the scientist but acting as the theist. I argue that Falk’s proposal leaves religious faith in no better shape; in particular, it merely reframes the question in terms of rational desires rather than rational beliefs.
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  • Perspectival Plurality, Relativism, and Multiple Indexing.Dan Zeman - 2018 - In Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Vol. 2. Semantics Archives. pp. 1353-1370.
    In this paper I focus on a recently discussed phenomenon illustrated by sentences containing predicates of taste: the phenomenon of " perspectival plurality " , whereby sentences containing two or more predicates of taste have readings according to which each predicate pertains to a different perspective. This phenomenon has been shown to be problematic for (at least certain versions of) relativism. My main aim is to further the discussion by showing that the phenomenon extends to other perspectival expressions than predicates (...)
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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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  • Ramsey’s Representation Theorem.Richard Bradley - 2004 - Dialectica 58 (4):483-497.
    This paper reconstructs and evaluates the representation theorem presented by Ramsey in his essay ‘Truth and Probability’, showing how its proof depends on a novel application of Hölder's theory of measurement. I argue that it must be understood as a solution to the problem of measuring partial belief, a solution that in many ways remains unsurpassed. Finally I show that the method it employs may be interpreted in such a way as to avoid a well known objection to it due (...)
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  • The Impartial Observer Theorem of Social Ethics.Philippe Mongin - 2001 - Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):147-179.
    Following a long-standing philosophical tradition, impartiality is a distinctive and determining feature of moral judgments, especially in matters of distributive justice. This broad ethical tradition was revived in welfare economics by Vickrey, and above all, Harsanyi, under the form of the so-called Impartial Observer Theorem. The paper offers an analytical reconstruction of this argument and a step-wise philosophical critique of its premisses. It eventually provides a new formal version of the theorem based on subjective probability.
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  • Reconciling Simplicity and Likelihood Principles in Perceptual Organization.Nick Chater - 1996 - Psychological Review 103 (3):566-581.
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  • Why Take Both Boxes?Jack Spencer & Ian Wells - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):27-48.
    The crucial premise of the standard argument for two-boxing in Newcomb's problem, a causal dominance principle, is false. We present some counterexamples. We then offer a metaethical explanation for why the counterexamples arise. Our explanation reveals a new and superior argument for two-boxing, one that eschews the causal dominance principle in favor of a principle linking rational choice to guidance and actual value maximization.
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  • Two-Phase Deontic Logic.Leendert Van der Torre & Yao-Hua Tan - 2000 - Logique Et Analyse 43 (171–172):411-456.
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  • Deliberación, deliberación técnica y buena deliberación en la ética aristotélica.Alejandro Farieta - 2019 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 56 (56):11-48.
    This paper faces the problem of how to determinate the framework in which, according to Aristotle, the deliberation and his results can be assessed: the decision and the consequent action. The problem emerges mainly because of what Aristotle calls “indetermination of deliberation,” since, in situations whose options about what to deliberate are blurred, it is difficult to determinate which is the framework that can be used to determinate if the decision resulting from the deliberation is accurate or not. To face (...)
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  • Coherent Probability From Incoherent Judgment.Daniel Osherson, David Lane, Peter Hartley & Richard R. Batsell - 2001 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 7 (1):3.
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  • Nonclassical Minds and Indeterminate Survival.J. Robert G. Williams - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (4):379-428.
    Revisionary theories of logic or truth require revisionary theories of mind. This essay outlines nonclassically based theories of rational belief, desire, and decision making, singling out the supervaluational family for special attention. To see these nonclassical theories of mind in action, this essay examines a debate between David Lewis and Derek Parfit over what matters in survival. Lewis argued that indeterminacy in personal identity allows caring about psychological connectedness and caring about personal identity to amount to the same thing. The (...)
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  • Reversing 30 Years of Discussion: Why Causal Decision Theorists Should One-Box.Wolfgang Spohn - 2012 - Synthese 187 (1):95-122.
    The paper will show how one may rationalize one-boxing in Newcomb's problem and drinking the toxin in the Toxin puzzle within the confines of causal decision theory by ascending to so-called reflexive decision models which reflect how actions are caused by decision situations (beliefs, desires, and intentions) represented by ordinary unreflexive decision models.
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