, Volume 174, Issue 3, pp 331–340 | Cite as

Probability, rational single-case decisions and the Monty Hall Problem

  • Jan Sprenger
Open Access


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.


Probability 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.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution,and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS)Tilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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