David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Anthropic arguments in multiverse cosmology and string theory rely on the weak anthropic principle (WAP). We show that the principle, though ultimately a tautology, is nevertheless ambiguous. It can be reformulated in one of two unambiguous ways, which we refer to as WAP_1 and WAP_2. We show that WAP_2, the version most commonly used in anthropic reasoning, makes no physical predictions unless supplemented by a further assumption of "typicality", and we argue that this assumption is both misguided and unjustified. WAP_1, however, requires no such supplementation; it directly implies that any theory that assigns a non-zero probability to our universe predicts that we will observe our universe with probability one. We argue, therefore, that WAP_1 is preferable, and note that it has the benefit of avoiding the inductive overreach characteristic of much anthropic reasoning.
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rob Bryanton (2006). Imagining the Tenth Dimension: A New Way of Thinking About Time, Space, and String Theory. Talking Dog Studios.
F. Bertola & Umberto Curi (eds.) (1988). The Anthropic Principle: Proceedings of the Second Venice Conference on Cosmology and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Frank J. Tipler (1988). The Anthropic Principle: A Primer for Philosophers. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:27 - 48.
Milan M. Ćirković (2002). Anthropic Fluctuations Vs. Weak Anthropic Principle. Foundations of Science 7 (4):453-463.
John Leslie (1986). Anthropic Explanations in Cosmology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:87 - 95.
S. Roush (2003). Copernicus, Kant, and the Anthropic Cosmological Principles. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (1):5-35.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads259 ( #2,006 of 1,413,285 )
Recent downloads (6 months)47 ( #2,437 of 1,413,285 )
How can I increase my downloads?