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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Can Savage Salvage Everettian Probability?

Price, Huw (2008) Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Can Savage Salvage Everettian Probability? [Preprint]

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    Critics object that the Everett view cannot make sense of quantum probabilities, in one or both of two ways: either it cannot make sense of probability at all, or it cannot explain why probability should be governed by the Born rule. David Deutsch has attempted to meet these objections by appealing to an Everettian version of Savage’s rational decision theory. Deutsch argues not only that an analogue of classical decision under uncertainty makes sense in an Everett world; but also that under reasonable assumptions, the betting odds of a rational Everettian agent should be constrained by the Born rule. Deutsch’s proposal has been defended and developed by David Wallace, and in a different form by Hilary Greaves. In this paper I offer some objections to the Deutsch-Wallace-Greaves argument, focussing in particular on the supposed analogy with classical decision under uncertainty.

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Probability, quantum mechanics, Everett, many worlds, decision theory
    Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
    Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
    Depositing User: Prof Huw Price
    Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2008
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:16
    Item ID: 3886

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