Newcomb's paradox was first presented by Robert Nozick and has been discussed by a considerable number of writers. You are playing a game with a Being who seems to have extraordinary predictive powers. Before you are two boxes, in one of which you can see $1,000. The other is closed and you cannot see what it contains, but you know that the Being has put a million dollars into it if he has predicted that you will take it only, but nothing if he has predicted that you will take both boxes; you may take either both boxes or the closed one only. The Being has correctly predicted the choices of all who have so far played with him. What should you do?
Let us call the Being the seer, and his opponent the player. I should also like to reduce the amount that may, or may not, be in the closed box to $10,000. Nearly everyone could make good use of $1,000 and better use of $10,000 or $11,000, but it is hard to say whether a million dollars would be a blessing or a curse.