Causal Decision Theory and Intrapersonal Nash Equilibria

Logic, Probability and GamesFriday, April 4, 20144:15 pm716 Philosophy Hall, Columbia UniversityNOTE: The talk is held at Columbia, NOT CUNY GC.

Arif Ahmed

Causal Decision Theory and Intrapersonal Nash Equilibria

University of Cambridge

Most philosophers today prefer ‘Causal Decision Theory’ to Bayesian or other non-Causal Decision Theories. What explains this is the fact that in certain Newcomb-like cases, only Causal theories recommend an option on which you would have done better, whatever the state of the world had been. But if so, there are cases of sequential choice in which the same difficulty arises for Causal Decision Theory. Worse: under further light assumptions the Causal Theory faces a money pump in these cases. It may be illuminating to consider rational sequential choice as an intrapersonal game between one’s stages, and if time permits I will do this. In that light the difficulty for Causal Decision Theory appears to be that it allows, but its non-causal rivals do not allow, for Nash equilibria in such games that are Pareto inefficient.

Presented by the University Seminar in Logic, Probability, and Games at Columbia University

Arif Ahmed is a senior lecturer at Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge. He teaches undergraduate students on sets relations & probability, mind & matter, personal identity, American philosophers and philosophical investigations.

Posted by on March 20th, 2014