Egyptology and Fanaticism

Philosophical Studies (forthcoming)
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Various decision theories share a troubling implication. They imply that, for any finite amount of value, it would be better to wager it all for a vanishingly small probability of some greater value. Counterintuitive as it might be, this fanaticism has seemingly compelling independent arguments in its favour. In this paper, I consider perhaps the most prima facie compelling such argument: an Egyptology argument (an analogue of the Egyptology argument from population ethics). I show that, despite recent objections from Russell (2023) and Goodsell (2021), the argument’s premises can be justified and defended, and the argument itself remains compelling.

Author's Profile

Hayden Wilkinson
University of Oxford


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