Causation, decision theory, and Bell's theorem: A quantum analogue of the Newcomb problem

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Title Causation, decision theory, and Bell's theorem: A quantum analogue of the Newcomb problem
Author Cavalcanti, Eric Gama
Journal Name British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Year Published 2010
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Abstract I apply some of the lessons from quantum theory, in particular from Bell's theorem, to a debate on the foundations of decision theory and causation. By tracing a formal analogy between the basic assumptions of causal decision theory (CDT)—which was developed partly in response to Newcomb's problem—and those of a local hidden variable theory in the context of quantum mechanics, I show that an agent who acts according to CDT and gives any nonzero credence to some possible causal interpretations underlying quantum phenomena should bet against quantum mechanics in some feasible game scenarios involving entangled systems, no matter what evidence they acquire. As a consequence, either the most accepted version of decision theory is wrong, or it provides a practical distinction, in terms of the prescribed behaviour of rational agents, between some metaphysical hypotheses regarding the causal structure underlying quantum mechanics.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://arxiv.org/abs/0911.2500
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axp050
Volume 61
Issue Number 3
Page from 569
Page to 597
ISSN 0007-0882
Date Accessioned 2011-01-21
Language en_AU
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Cognitive Science
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/35774
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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