Chapter

PARADOXES OF RATIONALITY

Roy Sorensen

in The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195145397
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199752393 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195145399.003.0014
 PARADOXES OF RATIONALITY

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Sorensen provides a panoramic view of paradoxes of theoretical and practical rationality. These puzzles are organized as apparent counterexamples to attractive principles such as the principle of charity, the transitivity of preferences, and the principle that we should maximize expected utility. The following paradoxes are discussed: fearing fictions, the surprise test paradox, Pascal’s Wager, Pollock’s Ever Better wine, Newcomb’s problem, the iterated prisoner’s dilemma, Kavka’s paradoxes of deterrence, backward inductions, the bottle imp, the preface paradox, Moore’s problem, Buridan’s ass, Condorcet’s paradox of cyclical majorities, the St. Petersburg paradox, weakness of will, the Ellsberg paradox, Allais’s paradox, and Peter Cave’s puzzle of self-fulfilling beliefs.

Keywords: bottle imp; cyclical majorities; deterrence; fiction; paradox; preface; prisoner’s dilemma; self-fulfilling beliefs; surprise; wager

Chapter.  7751 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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