David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 135 (3):415 - 430 (2003)
I discuss two versions of the doomsday argument. According to ``Gott's Line'',the fact that the human race has existed for 200,000 years licences the predictionthat it will last between 5100 and 7.8 million more years. According to ``Leslie'sWedge'', the fact that I currently exist is evidence that increases the plausibilityof the hypothesis that the human race will come to an end sooner rather than later.Both arguments rest on substantive assumptions about the sampling process thatunderlies our observations. These sampling assumptions have testable consequences,and so the sampling assumptions themselves must be regarded as empirical claims.The result of testing some of these consequences is that both doomsday argumentsare empirically disconfirmed.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Metaphysics Philosophy of Language|
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Citations of this work BETA
Alastair Wilson (forthcoming). The Quantum Doomsday Argument. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv035.
Dennis Dieks (2007). Reasoning About the Future: Doom and Beauty. Synthese 156 (3):427 - 439.
Bradley Monton & Brian Kierland (2006). How to Predict Future Duration From Present Age. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):16 - 38.
Kevin Nelson (2009). How and How Not to Make Predictions with Temporal Copernicanism. Synthese 166 (1):91 - 111.
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