Two envelope problems and the roles of ignorance

Malinas, Gary (2003) Two envelope problems and the roles of ignorance. Acta Analytica, 18 1-2: 217-225. doi:10.1007/s12136-003-1022-z


Author Malinas, Gary
Title Two envelope problems and the roles of ignorance
Journal name Acta Analytica   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0353-5150
Publication date 2003-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s12136-003-1022-z
Volume 18
Issue 1-2
Start page 217
End page 225
Total pages 9
Editor M. Potrc
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
440114 Philosophy of Action
780199 Other
Abstract Four variations on Two Envelope Paradox are stated and compared. The variations are employed to provide a diagnosis and an explanation of what has gone awry in the paradoxical modeling of the decision problem that the paradox poses. The canonical formulation of the paradox underdescribes the ways in which one envelope can have twice the amount that is in the other. Some ways one envelope can have twice the amount that is in the other make it rational to prefer the envelope that was originally rejected. Some do not, and it is a mistake to treat them alike. The nature of the mistake is diagnosed by the different roles that rigid designators and definite descriptions play in unproblematic and in untoward formulations of decision tables that are employed in setting out the decision problem that gives rise to the paradox. The decision maker’s knowledge or ignorance of how one envelope came to have twice the amount that is in the other determines which of the different ways of modeling his decision problem is correct. Under this diagnosis, the paradoxical modeling of the Two Envelope problem is incoherent.
Keyword paradox
two envelopes
cognitive illusion
ignorance
conditional expected utility
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2004 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 03:16:19 EST