Confirmation in a Branching World: The Everett Interpretation and Sleeping Beauty

Sometimes we learn what the world is like, and sometimes we learn where in the world we are. Are there any interesting differences between the two kinds of cases? The main aim of this article is to argue that learning where we are in the world brings into view the same kind of observation selection effects that operate when sampling from a population. I will first explain what observation selection effects are ( Section 1 ) and how they are relevant to learning where we are in the world ( Section 2 ). I will show how measurements in the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics can be understood as learning where you are in the world via some observation selection effect ( Section 3 ). I will apply a similar argument to the Sleeping Beauty Problem ( Section 4 ) and explain what I take the significance of the analogy to be ( Section 5 ). Finally, I will defend the Restricted Principle of Indifference on which some of my arguments depend ( Section 6 )
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axq013
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Alastair Wilson (forthcoming). The Quantum Doomsday Argument. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv035.
Alastair Wilson (2013). Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (3):axt018.

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