David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 40 (4):427 – 436 (1997)
Suppose various observers are divided randomly into two groups, a large and a small. Not knowing into which group anyone has been sent, each can have strong grounds for believing in being in the large group, although recognizing that every observer in the other group has equally powerful reasons for thinking of this other group as the large one. Justified belief can therefore be observer-relative in a rather paradoxical way. Appreciating this allows one to reject an intriguing new objection against Brandon Carter's 'doomsday argument'. Carter encourages us to doubt that we are among only the first hundredth, say, or first millionth, of all humans who will ever have existed. He thereby reinforces whatever reasons we may have for suspecting that, unless we take great care, the human race will not survive long. Admittedly his argument is weakened if our world is indeterministic, so that there is no suitably guaranteed 'fact of the matter' of how many humans will ever have existed. But even then, it can caution us against believing that a lengthy future for humankind 'is as good as determined'. Of all the objections the argument has yet faced, the new one is the most interesting.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Emily Adlam (2014). The Problem of Confirmation in the Everett Interpretation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:21-32.
Kevin Nelson (2009). How and How Not to Make Predictions with Temporal Copernicanism. Synthese 166 (1):91 - 111.
Similar books and articles
Mr István A. Aranyosi, The Doomsday Simulation Argument. Or Why Isn't the End Nigh, and You're Not Living in a Simulation.
D. J. Bradley (2005). No Doomsday Argument Without Knowledge of Birth Rank: A Defense of Bostrom. Synthese 144 (1):91 - 100.
Ken D. Olum (2002). The Doomsday Argument and the Number of Possible Observers. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (207):164-184.
Alasdair M. Richmond (2008). Doomsday, Bishop Ussher and Simulated Worlds. Ratio 21 (2):201–217.
N. Bostrom (1999). The Doomsday Argument is Alive and Kicking. Mind 108 (431):539-551.
Bradley Monton (2003). The Doomsday Argument Without Knowledge of Birth Rank. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):79–82.
Timothy Chambers (2001). Do Doomsday's Proponents Think We Were Born Yesterday? Philosophy 76 (3):443-450.
Kevin B. Korb & Jonathan J. Oliver (1998). A Refutation of the Doomsday Argument. Mind 107 (426):403-410.
Nick Bostrom (2000). Observer-Relative Chances in Anthropic Reasoning? Erkenntnis 52 (1):93-108.
Added to index2009-02-04
Total downloads18 ( #141,475 of 1,699,591 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #362,609 of 1,699,591 )
How can I increase my downloads?