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The puzzle of the hats

Bovens, Luc and Rabinowicz, Wlodek (2010) The puzzle of the hats. Synthese, 172 (1). pp. 57-78. ISSN 1573-0964

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11229-009-9476-1


The Puzzle of the Hats is a betting arrangement which seems to show that a Dutch book can be made against a group of rational players with common priors who act in the common interest and have full trust in the other players’ rationality. But we show that appearances are misleading—no such Dutch book can be made. There are four morals. First, what can be learned from the puzzle is that there is a class of situations in which credences and betting rates diverge. Second, there is an analogy between ways of dealing with situations of this kind and different policies for sequential choice. Third, there is an analogy with strategic voting, showing that the common interest is not always served by expressing how things seem to you in social decision-making. And fourth, our analysis of the Puzzle of the Hats casts light on a recent controversy about the Dutch book argument for the Sleeping Beauty.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 Springer
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 11 May 2010 15:24
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2024 23:18

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