Modal Realism is a Newcomb Problem


Some philosophers worry that if modal realism is true, you have no reason to prevent evils. For if you prevent an evil, you’ll have a counterpart somewhere that allows a similar evil. And if you refrain, your counterpart will end up preventing the relevant evil. Either way one evil is prevented and one is allowed. Your act makes no difference. I argue that this is mistaken. If modal realism is true, you are in a variant of Newcomb’s Problem. And if Lewis’ view about Newcomb’s Problem is true, then your act does make a difference and you should prevent the evil.

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Thanks to the referees and editors of Erkenntnis. Special thanks to Referee 2.

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Correspondence to Scott Hill.

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Hill, S. Modal Realism is a Newcomb Problem. Erkenn (2020).

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