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MIT OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu 24.120 Moral Psychology Spring 2009 For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use, visit: http://ocw.mit.edu/terms .
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24.210 MORAL PSYCHOLOGY RICHARD HOLTON IX Strength of Will: Normative Issues MORE ON AINSLIE S CONDITIONALS If I hold out now, I will hold out in the future. If I don’t hold out now, I won’t hold out in the future. Could these give us information about what I am like? Problem: is it accurate information? An extreme case: Newcomb’s problem. A bizarre billionaire offers you a choice: (1) Box A (2) Box A and Box B Box B contains $1000, placed there the night before. Box A either contains $1m, placed there the night before, or else nothing. The billionaire is a brilliant predictor of people’s choices (with a 99.9% success rate). When he decided last night what to place in Box A, he contemplated whether you would choose one box, or both. If he thought that you’d greedily choose both, he placed nothing in Box A. If he thought that you would choose only one, he placed $1m in Box A. But that, of course, was yesterday, and nothing you can do now will affect what is in the boxes. Should you choose one box or two? Less extreme: self-signaling behavior. Hardworking Calvinists. People keeping their hands in cold water for longer if that indicates a strong heart (Quattrone and Tversky, 1984). The difficulty is that if they see themselves as self-signaling, they interfere with the very signals that
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course PHIL 201H1F taught by Professor Derekallen during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto.

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MIT24_120s09_lec09 - MIT OpenCourseWare http/ocw.mit.edu...

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