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  1. 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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  • Relative Expectation Theory.Mark Colyvan - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (1):37-44.
    Games such as the St. Petersburg game present serious problems for decision theory.1 The St. Petersburg game invokes an unbounded utility function to produce an infinite expectation for playing the game. The problem is usually presented as a clash between decision theory and intuition: most people are not prepared to pay a large finite sum to buy into this game, yet this is precisely what decision theory suggests we ought to do. But there is another problem associated with the St. (...)
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  • Making Ado Without Expectations.Mark Colyvan & Alan Hájek - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):829-857.
    This paper is a response to Paul Bartha’s ‘Making Do Without Expectations’. We provide an assessment of the strengths and limitations of two notable extensions of standard decision theory: relative expectation theory and Paul Bartha’s relative utility theory. These extensions are designed to provide intuitive answers to some well-known problems in decision theory involving gaps in expectations. We argue that both RET and RUT go some way towards providing solutions to the problems in question but neither extension solves all the (...)
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  • Unexpected Expectations.Alan Hájek - 2014 - Mind 123 (490):533-567.
    A decade ago, Harris Nover and I introduced the Pasadena game, which we argued gives rise to a new paradox in decision theory even more troubling than the St Petersburg paradox. Gwiazda's and Smith's articles in this volume both offer revisionist solutions. I critically engage with both articles. They invite reflections on a number of deep issues in the foundations of decision theory, which I hope to bring out. These issues include: some ways in which orthodox decision theory might be (...)
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  • Representation Theorems and the Foundations of Decision Theory.Christopher J. G. Meacham & Jonathan Weisberg - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):641 - 663.
    Representation theorems are often taken to provide the foundations for decision theory. First, they are taken to characterize degrees of belief and utilities. Second, they are taken to justify two fundamental rules of rationality: that we should have probabilistic degrees of belief and that we should act as expected utility maximizers. We argue that representation theorems cannot serve either of these foundational purposes, and that recent attempts to defend the foundational importance of representation theorems are unsuccessful. As a result, we (...)
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  • Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Lara Buchak sets out a new account of rational decision-making in the face of risk. She argues that the orthodox view is too narrow, and suggests an alternative, more permissive theory: one that allows individuals to pay attention to the worst-case or best-case scenario, and vindicates the ordinary decision-maker.
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  • Perplexing Expectations.Alan Hájek & Harris Nover - 2006 - Mind 115 (459):703 - 720.
    This paper revisits the Pasadena game (Nover and Háyek 2004), a St Petersburg-like game whose expectation is undefined. We discuss serveral respects in which the Pasadena game is even more troublesome for decision theory than the St Petersburg game. Colyvan (2006) argues that the decision problem of whether or not to play the Pasadena game is ‘ill-posed’. He goes on to advocate a ‘pluralism’ regarding decision rules, which embraces dominance reasoning as well as maximizing expected utility. We rebut Colyvan’s argument, (...)
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  • Complex Expectations.Alan Hájek & Harris Nover - 2008 - Mind 117 (467):643 - 664.
    In our 2004, we introduced two games in the spirit of the St Petersburg game, the Pasadena and Altadena games. As these latter games lack an expectation, we argued that they pose a paradox for decision theory. Terrence Fine has shown that any finite valuations for the Pasadena, Altadena, and St Petersburg games are consistent with the standard decision-theoretic axioms. In particular, one can value the Pasadena game above the other two, a result that conflicts with both our intuitions and (...)
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  • No Expectations.Mark Colyvan - 2006 - Mind 115 (459):695-702.
    The Pasadena paradox presents a serious challenge for decision theory. The paradox arises from a game that has well-defined probabilities and utilities for each outcome, yet, apparently, does not have a well-defined expectation. In this paper, I argue that this paradox highlights a limitation of standard decision theory. This limitation can be (largely) overcome by embracing dominance reasoning and, in particular, by recognising that dominance reasoning can deliver the correct results in situations where standard decision theory fails. This, in turn, (...)
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  • Infinitesimal Probabilities.Vieri Benci, Leon Horsten & Sylvia9 Wenmackers - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):509-552.
    Non-Archimedean probability functions allow us to combine regularity with perfect additivity. We discuss the philosophical motivation for a particular choice of axioms for a non-Archimedean probability theory and answer some philosophical objections that have been raised against infinitesimal probabilities in general. _1_ Introduction _2_ The Limits of Classical Probability Theory _2.1_ Classical probability functions _2.2_ Limitations _2.3_ Infinitesimals to the rescue? _3_ NAP Theory _3.1_ First four axioms of NAP _3.2_ Continuity and conditional probability _3.3_ The final axiom of NAP (...)
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  • Fair Infinite Lotteries.Sylvia Wenmackers & Leon Horsten - 2013 - Synthese 190 (1):37-61.
    This article discusses how the concept of a fair finite lottery can best be extended to denumerably infinite lotteries. Techniques and ideas from non-standard analysis are brought to bear on the problem.
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  • Pensées.B. Pascal - 1670/1995 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 60:111-112.
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  • Negative, Infinite, and Hotter Than Infinite Temperatures.Philip Ehrlich - 1982 - Synthese 50 (2):233 - 277.
    We examine the notions of negative, infinite and hotter than infinite temperatures and show how these unusual concepts gain legitimacy in quantum statistical mechanics. We ask if the existence of an infinite temperature implies the existence of an actual infinity and argue that it does not. Since one can sensibly talk about hotter than infinite temperatures, we ask if one could legitimately speak of other physical quantities, such as length and duration, in analogous terms. That is, could there be longer (...)
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  • What Are Degrees of Belief.Lina Eriksson & Alan Hájek - 2007 - Studia Logica 86 (2):185-215.
    Probabilism is committed to two theses: 1) Opinion comes in degrees—call them degrees of belief, or credences. 2) The degrees of belief of a rational agent obey the probability calculus. Correspondingly, a natural way to argue for probabilism is: i) to give an account of what degrees of belief are, and then ii) to show that those things should be probabilities, on pain of irrationality. Most of the action in the literature concerns stage ii). Assuming that stage i) has been (...)
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  • Non-Archimedean Probability.Vieri Benci, Leon Horsten & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2013 - Milan Journal of Mathematics 81 (1):121-151.
    We propose an alternative approach to probability theory closely related to the framework of numerosity theory: non-Archimedean probability (NAP). In our approach, unlike in classical probability theory, all subsets of an infinite sample space are measurable and only the empty set gets assigned probability zero (in other words: the probability functions are regular). We use a non-Archimedean field as the range of the probability function. As a result, the property of countable additivity in Kolmogorov’s axiomatization of probability is replaced by (...)
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  • Taking Stock of Infinite Value: Pascal’s Wager and Relative Utilities.Paul Bartha - 2007 - Synthese 154 (1):5-52.
    Among recent objections to Pascal's Wager, two are especially compelling. The first is that decision theory, and specifically the requirement of maximizing expected utility, is incompatible with infinite utility values. The second is that even if infinite utility values are admitted, the argument of the Wager is invalid provided that we allow mixed strategies. Furthermore, Hájek has shown that reformulations of Pascal's Wager that address these criticisms inevitably lead to arguments that are philosophically unsatisfying and historically unfaithful. Both the objections (...)
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  • Truth and Probability.F. Ramsey - 1926 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 52-94.
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  • Pascal's Wager: PHILOSOPHY.James Cargile - 1966 - Philosophy 41 (157):250-257.
    A. Pascal's statement of his wager argument is couched in terms of the theory of probability and the theory of games, and the exposition is unclear and unnecessarily complicated. The following is a ‘creative’ reformulation of the argument designed to avoid some of the objections which have been or might be raised against the original.
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  • Betting Against Pascal's Wager.Gregory Mougin & Elliott Sober - 1994 - Noûs 28 (3):382-395.
    Only one traditional objection to Pascal's wager is telling: Pascal assumes a particular theology, but without justification. We produce two new objections that go deeper. We show that even if Pascal's theology is assumed to be probable, Pascal's argument does not go through. In addition, we describe a wager that Pascal never considered, which leads away from Pascal's conclusion. We then consider the impact of these considerations on other prudential arguments concerning what one should believe, and on the more general (...)
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  • The Absolute Arithmetic Continuum and the Unification of All Numbers Great and Small.Philip Ehrlich - 2012 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 18 (1):1-45.
    In his monograph On Numbers and Games, J. H. Conway introduced a real-closed field containing the reals and the ordinals as well as a great many less familiar numbers including $-\omega, \,\omega/2, \,1/\omega, \sqrt{\omega}$ and $\omega-\pi$ to name only a few. Indeed, this particular real-closed field, which Conway calls No, is so remarkably inclusive that, subject to the proviso that numbers—construed here as members of ordered fields—be individually definable in terms of sets of NBG, it may be said to contain (...)
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  • Evaluating the Pasadena, Altadena, and St Petersburg Gambles.Terrence L. Fine - 2008 - Mind 117 (467):613-632.
    By recourse to the fundamentals of preference orderings and their numerical representations through linear utility, we address certain questions raised in Nover and Hájek 2004, Hájek and Nover 2006, and Colyvan 2006. In brief, the Pasadena and Altadena games are well-defined and can be assigned any finite utility values while remaining consistent with preferences between those games having well-defined finite expected value. This is also true for the St Petersburg game. Furthermore, the dominance claimed for the Altadena game over the (...)
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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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  • Making Do Without Expectations.Paul F. A. Bartha - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):799-827.
    The Pasadena game invented by Nover and Hájek raises a number of challenges for decision theory. The basic problem is how the game should be evaluated: it has no expectation and hence no well-defined value. Easwaran has shown that the Pasadena game does have a weak expectation, raising the possibility that we can eliminate the value gap by requiring agents to value gambles at their weak expectations. In this paper, I first prove a negative result: there are gambles like the (...)
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  • Vexing Expectations.Harris Nover & Alan Hájek - 2004 - Mind 113 (450):237-249.
    We introduce a St. Petersburg-like game, which we call the ‘Pasadena game’, in which we toss a coin until it lands heads for the first time. Your pay-offs grow without bound, and alternate in sign (rewards alternate with penalties). The expectation of the game is a conditionally convergent series. As such, its terms can be rearranged to yield any sum whatsoever, including positive infinity and negative infinity. Thus, we can apparently make the game seem as desirable or undesirable as we (...)
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  • The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays.Frank Plumpton Ramsey & R. B. Braithwaite - 1932 - Philosophy 7 (25):84-86.
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  • Hyperreal Expected Utilities and Pascal's Wager.Frederik Herzberg - 2011 - Logique Et Analyse 54 (213):69-108.
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  • [Omnibus Review].H. Jerome Keisler - 1970 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 35 (2):342-344.
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  • An Introduction to the Theory of Surreal Numbers.Harry Gonshor - 1986
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  • Pascal's Wager.James Cargile - 1982 - In Steven M. Cahn & David Shatz (eds.), Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 250-.
    A. Pascal's statement of his wager argument is couched in terms of the theory of probability and the theory of games, and the exposition is unclear and unnecessarily complicated. The following is a ‘creative’ reformulation of the argument designed to avoid some of the objections which have been or might be raised against the original.
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