Dominance Conditionals and the Newcomb ProblemSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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The dominance conditional 'If I drink the contents of cup A, I will drink more than if drink the contents of cup B' is true if we know that the first cup contains more than the second. In the first part of the paper, I show that only one kind of theory of indicative conditionals can explain this fact — a Stalnaker-type semantics. In the second part of the paper, I show that dominance conditionals can help explain a long-standing mystery: the question of how one-boxers and two-boxers are guided by conditionals to their respective answers to the Newcomb problem. I will suggest that both implicitly appeal to a decision theoretic principle I will call the Dominance Norm (DN), a principle that connects indicative dominance conditionals with rational courses of action. Finally, I show that DN in combination with a Stalnaker-type theory of indicatives commits us to the two-boxing answer in the Newcomb problem.