Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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.

Author Item Excerpt Meta data

Books on Amazon
V 300
Newcomb’s Paradox/NP/Prisoner dilemma/PD/Lewis: thesis: the two are identical - it’s not about a prediction. - New theories are successful if they predict (=explain) already observed phenomena - whether they get the bigger profit is causally independent of what I’m doing now - therefore, my prediction should be causally independent of my decision. - Solution: move the prediction into the past - it is only important whether a prediction could have been made - and that it is conditional on whether I get the million. - Important argument: no one needs to develop a theory about my beliefs - whether someone puts a million into the box depends on a process which is not regarded to be a prediction of my choice.
V 301
Newcomb’s Paradox/Prisoner dilemma/Lewis: Million only if a certain prediction process (before, during or after) of the choice justifies the prediction that I will not take the thousand - e.g. a copy (replica) of me. - Important argument: regardless if someone else makes a prediction about how I watch my replica (react to it?), the decision of my replica is still a prediction process regarding my prediction process.
V 303
Even if coincidence prevails, it is rational to cooperate.
V 303f
Newcomb’s Paradox/Prisoner dilemma/PD/Lewis: some: it is rational not to cooperate if the partners are just similar enough. - LewisVs: You should take the thousand - because whether you get the million it regardless of what you do. - PD/Lewis: it is rational to cooperate, because you would be ratted by others, no matter what you do yourself - (not causal).
V 309
Newcomb’s Paradox/Lewis: Variant: E.g. Take the thousand and trade them for the possibility of a disease (not causal) - and you’re convinced that the latter is out of your control - then there is no reason not to take the thousand - even though your choice is proof of a possible disease - it is proof that there was a former state which was both favourable for the thousand and the disease. - Important argument: if the former condition exists, there is nothing you can do about it now.
V 312
Newcomb’s Paradox/Lewis: It cannot exist for someone who knows everything about how things depend causally from him.
V 309f
Non-causal decision theory/DT/Newcomb’s Paradox/LewisVs: favors the decline of the small benefit as rational - although this later choice does nothing to change the previous state, which favors the evil. - NP: requires a causal decision theory.
V 315
Non-causal decision theory: only works because the beliefs of the actor allow it to function - ...+... Partition of propositions (sets of possible worlds), expected benefits.

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.

D. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

D. Lewis
Konventionen Berlin 1975

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

D. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

LwCl I
Cl. I. Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991

> Counter arguments against Lewis

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-09-25