# Reflective inconsistency

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**Reflective inconsistency** refers to a disagreement between your earlier self and your later self about what your *earlier self* should have done given only your *earlier* state of knowledge. It can informally be called *regret* or *remorse*.

More precisely, if you do Y, and later you think "Knowing only what I knew before doing Y should have deterred me from doing Y,", then you are reflectively inconsistent.

## Examples

- Tuesday Self: <spends 5 dollars on a chance to win 6 dollars if a fair coin flip lands heads>
- <coin lands tails>
- Wednesday Self: "That wasn't worth the risk, and I should have known better."

- Tuesday Self: <spends 5 dollars on a chance to win 6 dollars if a fair coin flip lands heads>
- <coin lands heads>
- Wednesday Self: "That was lucky, but it wasn't worth the risk and I should have known better.>

Non-example:

- Tuesday Self: <spends 5 dollars on a chance to win 6 dollars if a fair coin flip lands heads>
- <coin lands tails>
- Wednesday Self: "I would have been better off not taking the bet, since the coin was going to land tails.>

## Related blog posts

- Timeless Decision Theory and Meta-Circular Decision Theory
- Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality