A surprise for Horwich (and some advocates of the fine-tuning argument (which does not include Horwich (as far as I know)))
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 161 (2):247-261 (2012)
The judgment that a given event is epistemically improbable is necessary but insufficient for us to conclude that the event is surprising. Paul Horwich has argued that surprising events are, in addition, more probable given alternative background assumptions that are not themselves extremely improbable. I argue that Horwich’s definition fails to capture important features of surprises and offer an alternative definition that accords better with intuition. An important application of Horwich’s analysis has arisen in discussions of fine-tuning arguments. In the second part of the paper I consider the implications for this argument of employing my definition of surprise. I argue that advocates of fine-tuning arguments are not justified in attaching significance to the fact that we are surprised by examples of fine-tuning.
|Keywords||Surprise Fine-tuning Horwich Multiverse Intelligent design|
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References found in this work BETA
John Leslie (1989). Universes. Routledge.
Nick Bostrom (2002). Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy. Routledge.
Paul Horwich (1982). Probability and Evidence. Cambridge University Press.
Roger White (2000). Fine-Tuning and Multiple Universes. Noûs 34 (2):260–276.
Neil Manson (2003). Fine-Tuning, Multiple Universes, and the 'This Universe' Objection. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):67 - 83.
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