Philosophical Studies

, Volume 138, Issue 3, pp 317–333 | Cite as

Avoiding certain frustration, reflection, and the cable guy paradox

Original Paper


We discuss the cable guy paradox, both as an object of interest in its own right and as something which can be used to illuminate certain issues in the theories of rational choice and belief. We argue that a crucial principle—The Avoid Certain Frustration (ACF) principle—which is used in stating the paradox is false, thus resolving the paradox. We also explain how the paradox gives us new insight into issues related to the Reflection principle. Our general thesis is that principles that base your current opinions on your current opinions about your future opinions need not make reference to the particular times in the future at which you believe you will have those opinions, but they do need to make reference to the particular degrees of belief you believe you will have in the future.


Bayesianism Reflection principle Stopping times  


  1. Hájek A. (2005). The cable guy paradox. Analysis, 65, 112–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Schervish M. J., Seidenfeld T., & Kadane J. B. (2004). Stopping to reflect. Journal of Philosophy, 101, 315–322.Google Scholar
  3. van Fraassen B. (1984). Belief and the will. Journal of Philosophy, 81, 235–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. van Fraassen B. (1995). Belief and the problem of Ulysses and the Sirens. Philosophical Studies, 77, 7–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Kierland
    • 1
  • Bradley Monton
    • 2
  • Samuel Ruhmkorff
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Division of Social StudiesSimon’s Rock College of BardGreat BarringtonUSA

Personalised recommendations