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Title: Newcomb's paradox
Keywords: Newcomb Paradox Bespeak Houndwood 4-D Placebo
Issue Date: 21-May-2005
Citation: SOVAN PATRA (2005-05-21). Newcomb's paradox. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In this paper I defend my intuition that it is rational to take the single (opaque) box in the Newcomb situation. To establish this conclusion, I consider two different strategies. The first of these is an attempt to demonstrate the plausibility of reading the decision problem as one where, contrary to the common belief, the agenta??s decision causes the predictor to predict as he does and thus influences what the opaque box contains. Under this re-interpretation, the decision to take only the single box is obviously rational. The second approach challenges the claim that the causal dependence of states on the agenta??s decisions is what rational decisions should be based on. In this light, I assert that the conditional premises in decision making need not be read counterfactually. I contend that it is the agenta??s non trivial degree of belief in the relevant material conditionals which grounds rational decisions. To this end, I try to develop a position which vindicates the effectiveness of evidential decision theory in identifying the rational act.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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