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Avoiding Certain Frustration, Reflection, and the Cable Guy Paradox

Brian Kierland, Bradley Monton and Samuel Ruhmkorff
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 138, No. 3 (Apr., 2008), pp. 317-333
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40208878
Page Count: 17
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Avoiding Certain Frustration, Reflection, and the Cable Guy Paradox
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Abstract

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.

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