Probability, rational single-case decisions and the Monty Hall Problem
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The application of probabilistic arguments to rational decisions in a single case is a contentious philosophical issue which arises in various contexts. Some authors (e.g. Horgan, Philos Pap 24:209–222, 1995; Levy, Synthese 158:139–151, 2007) affirm the normative force of probabilistic arguments in single cases while others (Baumann, Am Philos Q 42:71–79, 2005; Synthese 162:265–273, 2008) deny it. I demonstrate that both sides do not give convincing arguments for their case and propose a new account of the relationship between probabilistic reasoning and rational decisions. In particular, I elaborate a flaw in Baumann’s reductio of rational single-case decisions in a modified Monty Hall Problem.
KeywordsProbability Decision Theory Rationality Monty Hall Problem
I would like to thank Peter Baumann, Filip Buekens, Stephan Hartmann, Vincent Hendricks, Sebastian Lutz, Jacob Rosenthal, Jonah Schupbach and two anonymous referees of this journal for helpful advice, discussion and suggestions.
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