, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 319-322

The Independence Postulate, Hypothetical and Called-off Acts: a further reply to Rabinowicz

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Abstract

The Independence postulate links current preferences between called-off acts with current preferences between constant acts. Under the assumption that the chance-events used in compound von Neumann-Morgenstern lotteries are value-neutral, current preferences between these constant acts are linked to current preferences between hypothetical acts, conditioned by those chance events. Under an assumption of stability of preferences over time, current preferences between these hypothetical acts are linked to future preferences between what are then and there constant acts. Here, I show that a failure of Independence with respect to current preferences leads to an inconsistency in sequential decisions. Two called-off acts are constructed such that each is admissible in the same sequential decision and yet one is strictly preferred to the other. This responds to a question regarding admissibility posed by Rabinowicz ([2000] Preference stability and substitution of indifferents: A rejoinder to Seidenfeld, Theory and Decision 48: 311–318 [this issue]).