Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Yaron Raviv

Reader 2

Dustin Locke

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2019 Ahmed Bilal


The Backward Induction strategy for the Centipede Game leads us to a counterfactual reasoning paradox, The Centipede Game paradox. The counterfactual reasoning proving the backward induction strategy for the game appears to rely on the players in the game not choosing that very same backward induction strategy. The paradox is a general paradox that applies to backward induction reasoning in sequential, perfect information games. Therefore, the paradox is not only problematic for the Centipede Game, but it also affects counterfactual reasoning solutions in games similar to the Centipede Game. The Centipede Game is a prime illustration of this paradox in counterfactual reasoning. As a result, this paper will use a material versus subjunctive/counterfactual conditional analysis to provide a theoretical resolution to the Centipede Game, with the hope that a similar solution can be applied to other areas where this paradox may appear. The solution involves delineating between the epistemic systems of the players and the game theorists.