Decision and Foreknowledge

Noûs (forthcoming)
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Abstract

My topic is how to make decisions when you possess foreknowledge of the consequences of your choice. Many have thought that these kinds of decisions pose a distinctive and novel problem for causal decision theory (CDT). My thesis is that foreknowledge poses no new problems for CDT. Some of the purported problems are not problems. Others are problems, but they are not problems for CDT. Rather, they are problems for our theories of subjunctive supposition. Others are problems, but they are not new problems. They are old problems transposed into a new key. Nonetheless, decisions made with foreknowledge illustrate important lessons about the instrumental value of our choices. Once we've appreciated these lessons, we are left with a version of CDT which faces no novel threats from foreknowledge.

Author's Profile

J. Dmitri Gallow
University of Pittsburgh

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