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« The Self-Torturer and Instrumental Rationality | Main | First Issue of LEAP »

March 03, 2014

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Re the self-torturer, my sense is that you want to

deny that (1) the self-torturer can rationally intend to stop at n while preferring the prospect of proceeding to n+1;

but agree that (2) the self-torturer can rationally intend to stop at n while preferring the option of stopping at n+1.

So the issue seems to be: Given that, for any n, proceeding to n+1 leaves it completely open that the self-torturer can stop at n+1, shouldn’t the self-torturer prefer the prospect of proceeding to n+1 over the prospect of stopping at n (given the self-torturer’s preference for stopping at n+1 over stopping at n)?

I think your views concerning how to identify and evaluate options in a deterministic world might make you think this question incorporates a false assumption; but if one is not (yet) convinced by those views, one might think the question is fine and the answer is yes. Since your views are controversial, you might expect some resistance against R3 via this route.

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