Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Newcomb’s Paradox: is a thought experiment, in which a subject should select one of two boxes and thereby has a secure option for a chance to win, but can significantly increase this chance by increasing the risk of losing everything. An omniscient being, who has usually correctly predicted the decision of the subject, tries to thwart the profit of the subject person. Should the subject choose the safe option or play risk? Can the subject still change its strategy during the experiment? See also freedom of will, backward causality, prisoner´‘s dilemma.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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III 160
Newcomb's Paradox/Original Version/Black: the super fortune teller was right in most cases, where he dealt with people like you - he prepared the box beforehand - when foreseeing a single choice, he has put 1 million into the closed box! - III 161 Strategies: 1) weakly dominant: "I have nothing to lose": than both boxes - Black: = "conservative argument" - 2) reckless: only one box (the closed one): recommended if the chances are great and the stakes are low - NP/Black: Problem: one of the two strategies must be wrong. - III 162 Fortune Teller: nothing depends on his character - III 170 yet the concern is that there is reason to believe that one should be duped.
III 164
Newcomb's Problem/Black: realistic variant: Playing for the entrance fee (museum) - predictive power from experience - "Most players lose" - III 165 1) skeptical attitude: why should I believe that - 2) trusting attitude: "Perhaps it is a psychological test to distract me"- then both boxes (conservative) - then I have to regard all the text as a deception - then too many uncertainties - III 166 Black: the more life-like, the more speaks against a daring strategy - daring strategy: is attractive to the extent to which you believe the whole story - Black: this corresponds to the belief in UFOs - III 168 Black: each variant (also with computers, etc.) is such that it is more appropriate to mistrust the whole story.
III 169
Newcomb's Problem/Black: behavioral evidence: opaque - interpretative evidence: = disclosed reasons: transparent- we can understand reasons, without accepting them - Strategy: masking my own type: Problem: if I am wrong, and my behavior does not influence the decision, I'm back in the uncertainty, while the arguments for dominance are still equally strong. - Free Will/Black: predictability does not endanger the freedom of will - E.g. the fact that the other person can checkmate me in two moves does not force him to do it - he could humiliate me by delaying. - Museum game: it's not about whether the apparatus predicts my behavior, but if it had predicted a deviation on my behalf.
III 173
Newcomb's Problem/Conclusion/Summary/Black: 1) Original version: overstretches the credibility: -a) by postulating the existence of a super fortune teller - b) by the fact that the generosity is not justified - 2) A rational person should suspect fraud in such a fantastic situation and safely play by taking both boxes - 3) in any more realistic variant, the motives of the narrator remain questionable - 4) a reasonable choice requires weighing the probability of the predictability against the possible fraudulent intent of the narrator - 5) although the conservative strategy (both boxes) - III 174 is definitely more secure, it could be refuted by additional information - 6) predictability: there are strong general arguments against it - the arguments in favor of the reckless strategy are too weak to apply in real life - 7) a rational person should assume the credibility of the narrator in a Newcomb situation and decide conservatively (taking both boxes).

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Bla I
Max Black
Bedeutung und Intention
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, G. Meggle (Hg), Frankfurt/M 1979

Bla II
M. Black
Sprache München 1973

M. Black
The Prevalence of Humbug Ithaca/London 1983

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-17