# Lottery paradox

Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. 's**Lottery Paradox**(1961, p. 197) arises from considering a fair 1000 ticketlottery that has exactly one winning ticket. If this much is known about the execution of the lottery it is therefore rational to accept that some ticket will win. Suppose that an event is very likely if the probability of it occurring is greater than 0.99. On these grounds it is presumed rational to accept the proposition that ticket 1 of the lottery will not win. Since the lottery is fair, it is rational to accept that ticket 2 won't win either---indeed, it is rational to accept for any individual ticket "i" of the lottery that ticket "i" will not win. However, accepting that ticket 1 won't win, accepting that ticket 2 won't win, ..., and accepting that ticket 1000 won't win entails that it is rational to accept that "no" ticket will win, which entails that it is rational to accept the contradictory proposition that one ticket wins and no ticket wins.The lottery paradox was designed to demonstrate that three attractive principles governing

rational acceptance lead to contradiction, namely that* It is rational to accept a proposition that is very likely true,

* It is not rational to accept a proposition that is known to be inconsistent, and

* If it is rational to accept a proposition A and it is rational to accept another proposition A', then it is rational to accept A & A',are jointly inconsistent.

The paradox remains of continuing interest because it raises several issues at the foundations of knowledge representation and uncertain reasoning: the relationships between fallibility, corrigible belief and logical consequence; the roles that consistency, statistical evidence and probability play in belief fixation; the precise normative force that logical and probabilistic consistency have on rational belief.

**History**Although the first published statement of the lottery paradox appears in Kyburg's 1961 "Probability and the Logic of Rational Belief", the first formulation of the paradox appears in his "Probability and Randomness," a paper delivered at the 1959 meeting of the

Association for Symbolic Logic , and the 1960 International Congress for the History and Philosophy of Science, but published in the journal "Theoria" in 1963. This paper is reprinted in Kyburg (1983).**A Short Guide to the Literature**The lottery paradox has become a central topic within

epistemology , and the enormous literature surrounding this puzzle threatens to obscure its original purpose. Kyburg proposed the thought experiment to get across a feature of his innovative ideas on probability (Kyburg 1961, Kyburg and Teng 2001), which are built around taking the first two principles above seriously and rejecting the last. For Kyburg, the lottery paradox isn't really a paradox: his solution is to restrict aggregation.Even so, for orthodox probabilists the second and third principles are primary, so the first principle is rejected. Here too you'll see claims that there is really no paradox but an error: the solution is to reject the first principle, and with it the idea of rational acceptance.

Most of the literature in epistemology approaches the puzzle from the orthodox point of view and grapples with the particular consequences faced by doing so, which is why the lottery is associated with discussions of skepticism (e.g., Klein 1981), and conditions for asserting knowledge claims (e.g., J. P. Hawthorne 2004). It is common to also find proposed resolutions to the puzzle that turn on particular features of the lottery thought experiment (e.g., Pollock 1986), which then invites comparisons of the lottery to other epistemic paradoxes, such as

David Makinson 'spreface paradox , and to "lotteries" having a different structure. This strategy is addressed in (Kyburg 1997) and also in (Wheeler 2007). An extensive bibliography is included in (Wheeler 2007).Philosophical logicians and AI researchers have tended to be interested in reconciling weakened versions of the three principles, and there are many ways to do this, including Jim Hawthorne and Luc Bovens's (1999) logic of belief, Gregory Wheeler's (2006) use of 1-monotone capacities, Bryson Brown's (1999) application of preservationist paraconsistent logics, Igor Douven and Timothy Williamson's (2006) appeal to cumulative non-monotonic logics, Horacio Arlo-Costa's (2007) use of minimal model (classical) modal logics, and Joe Halpern's (2003) use of first-order probability.

Finally, philosophers of science, decision scientists, and statisticians are inclined to see the lottery paradox as an early example of the complications one faces in constructing principled methods for aggregating uncertain information, which is now a thriving discipline of its own, with a dedicated journal,

Information Fusion , in addition to continuous contributions to general area journals.**elected References*** Arlo-Costa, H (2005). "Non-Adjunctive Inference and Classical Modalities", "The Journal of Philosophical Logic", 34, 581-605.

* Brown, B. (1999). "Adjunction and Aggregation", "Nous", 33(2), 273-283.

* Douven and Williamson (2006). "Generalizing the Lottery Paradox", "The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science", 57(4), pp. 755-779.

* Halpern, J. (2003). "Reasoning about Uncertainty", Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

* Hawthorne, J. and Bovens, L. (1999). "The Preface, the Lottery, and the Logic of Belief", "Mind", 108: 241-264.

* Hawthorne, J.P. (2004). "Knowledge and Lotteries", New York: Oxford University Press.

* Klein, P. (1981). "Certainty: a Refutation of Scepticism", Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

* Kyburg, H.E. (1961). "Probability and the Logic of Rational Belief", Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

* Kyburg, H. E. (1983). "Epistemology and Inference", Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

* Kyburg, H. E. (1997). "The Rule of Adjunction and Reasonable Inference", "Journal of Philosophy," 94(3), 109-125.

* Kyburg, H. E., and Teng, C-M. (2001). "Uncertain Inference", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

* Lewis, D. (1996). "Elusive Knowledge", "Australasian Journal of Philosophy", 74, pp. 549-67.

* Makinson, D. (1965). "The Paradox of the Preface", "Analysis", 25: 205-207.

* Pollock, J. (1986). "The Paradox of the Preface", "Philosophy of Science", 53, pp. 346-258.

* Wheeler, G. (2006). "Rational Acceptance and Conjunctive/Disjunctive Absorption", "Journal of Logic, Language, and Information", 15(1-2): 49-53.

* Wheeler, G. (2007). "A Review of the Lottery Paradox", in William Harper and Gregory Wheeler (eds.) "Probability and Inference: Essays in Honour of Henry E. Kyburg, Jr.," King's College Publications, pp. 1-31.**External links*** [

*http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/H/James.A.Hawthorne-1/ Links to Jim Hawthorne's papers on the logic of nonmonotonic conditionals (and Lottery Logic)*]__NOTOC__

*Wikimedia Foundation.
2010.*

### Look at other dictionaries:

**lottery paradox**— Suppose a lottery with a large number of tickets. Then it is rational to believe of each particular ticket that it will lose. If it is rational to hold two beliefs separately, then it must be rational to hold their conjunction. But if we conjoin… … Philosophy dictionary**lottery**— paradox … Philosophy dictionary**Preface paradox**— The Preface Paradox, or the paradox of the preface, [Makinson, D. C., Paradox of the Preface , Analysis 25 (1965) 205 207. [http://david.c.makinson.googlepages.com/MakinsonPrefaceParadox1.pdf] ] was introduced by David Makinson in 1965. Similar… … Wikipedia**St. Petersburg paradox**— In economics, the St. Petersburg paradox is a paradox related to probability theory and decision theory. It is based on a particular (theoretical) lottery game (sometimes called St. Petersburg Lottery ) that leads to a random variable with… … Wikipedia**Allais paradox**— The Allais paradox is a choice problem designed by Maurice Allais to show an inconsistency of actual observed choices with the predictions of expected utility theory. Contents 1 Statement of the Problem 2 Mathematical proof of inconsistency 2.1… … Wikipedia**preface paradox**— A writer says many things, p 1… p n, in the course of a book. In the preface she reasonably says that she knows the book contains mistakes, and is sorry for them. But given that she knows that p 1… p n is the set of things she asserted, she now… … Philosophy dictionary**List of paradoxes**— This is a list of paradoxes, grouped thematically. Note that many of the listed paradoxes have a clear resolution see Quine s Classification of Paradoxes.Logical, non mathematical* Paradox of entailment: Inconsistent premises always make an… … Wikipedia**List of philosophy topics (I-Q)**— II and thou I Ching I Ching I proposition I Thou I Thou relationshipIaIamblichus (philosopher)IbYahya Ibn Adi Yahya Ibn Adi Ibn al Arabi Muhyi al Din Ibn al Arabi Abu Bakr Ibn Bajja Abu Bakr Ibn Bājja Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Yahya Ibn as Say igh… … Wikipedia**Парадокс лотереи**— Парадокс лотереи, сформулированный профессором Рочестерского университета Генри Кайбергом[1], возникает из рассмотрения шансов выигрыша в лотерею, в которой разыгрывается, например, 1000 лотерейных билетов, из которых один является выигрышным.… … Википедия**Henry E. Kyburg, Jr.**— Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. (1928 – 2007) was Gideon Burbank Professor of Moral Philosophy and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Rochester, New York, and Pace Eminent Scholar at The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola,… … Wikipedia