About this topic
Summary The Sleeping Beauty Problem concerns a perfectly rational agent who is put to sleep for two days. Depending on the toss of a fair coin, she is awakened once (Heads) or twice (Tails). However, after each waking, she is put back to sleep with a drug that erases her memories of the waking. The question which constitutes the problem is this: "When she is first awakened, what degree of belief will she have that the outcome of the coin toss is Heads?" The problem has proven exceedingly difficult to solve and attracts attention both for its intrinsic interest and because of the many connections between the correct answer to the problem and a wide variety of other philosophical topics including: the status of chance-credence and frequency-credence principles, the evidential relevance of essentially indexical information, the acceptability of conditionalization principles, the proper understanding of Dutch Book arguments, the status of indifference principles, and the proper interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Key works The problem was first raised in the philosophical literature by Elga 2000, who defended the 1/3 answer. Lewis 2001 responded, defending the 1/2 answer.  Important early papers defending 1/3 include Arntzenius 2003, Dorr 2002, Horgan 2004, and Hitchcock 2004. Important early papers defending 1/2 include White 2006 and Meacham 2008. The literature has since exploded in size.
Introductions Elga 2000Titelbaum 2013
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125 found
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  1. Reflections on Sleeping Beauty.Frank Arntzenius - 2002 - Analysis 62 (1):53–62.
  2. Sleeping Beauty and the Absent-Minded Driver.Jean Baratgin & Bernard Walliser - 2010 - Theory and Decision 69 (3):489-496.
    The Sleeping Beauty problem is presented in a formalized framework which summarizes the underlying probability structure. The two rival solutions proposed by Elga and Lewis differ by a single parameter concerning her prior probability. They can be supported by considering, respectively, that Sleeping Beauty is “fuzzy-minded” and “blank-minded”, the first interpretation being more natural than the second. The traditional absent -minded driver problem is reinterpreted in this framework and sustains Elga’s solution.
  3. How to Put Self-Locating Information in its Place.Paul Bartha - unknown -
    How can self-locating propositions be integrated into normal patterns of belief revision? Puzzles such as Sleeping Beauty seem to show that such propositions lead to violation of ordinary principles for reasoning with subjective probability, such as Conditionalization and Reflection. I show that sophisticated forms of Conditionalization and Reflection are not only compatible with self-locating propositions, but also indispensable in understanding how they can function as evidence in Sleeping Beauty and similar cases.
  4. Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy.Nick Bostrom - 2002 - Routledge.
    _Anthropic Bias_ explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by "observation selection effects"--that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to "have" the evidence. This conundrum--sometimes alluded to as "the anthropic principle," "self-locating belief," or "indexical information"--turns out to be a surprisingly perplexing and intellectually stimulating challenge, one abounding with important implications for many areas in science and philosophy. There are the philosophical thought experiments and paradoxes: (...)
  5. Self-Locating Belief in Big Worlds: Cosmology's Missing Link to Observation.Nick Bostrom - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (12):607-623.
    Current cosmological theories say that the world is so big that all possible observations are in fact made. But then, how can such theories be tested? What could count as negative evidence? To answer that, we need to consider observation selection effects.
  6. Judy Benjamin is a Sleeping Beauty.Luc Bovens - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):23-26.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
  7. Four Problems About Self-Locating Belief.D. J. Bradley - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (2):149-177.
    This article defends the Doomsday Argument, the Halfer Position in Sleeping Beauty, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the applicability of Bayesian confirmation theory to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. It will argue that all four problems have the same structure, and it gives a unified treatment that uses simple models of the cases and no controversial assumptions about confirmation or self-locating evidence. The article will argue that the troublesome feature of all these cases is not self-location but selection effects.
  8. Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty: Reply to Wilson: Figure 1.Darren Bradley - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):683-693.
  9. Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty: Reply to Wilson.Darren Bradley - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):683-693.
    In Bradley, I offered an analysis of Sleeping Beauty and the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics. I argued that one can avoid a kind of easy confirmation of EQM by paying attention to observation selection effects, that halfers are right about Sleeping Beauty, and that thirders cannot avoid easy confirmation for the truth of EQM. Wilson agrees with my analysis of observation selection effects in EQM, but goes on to, first, defend Elga’s thirder argument on Sleeping Beauty and, second, argue (...)
  10. Self-Location is No Problem for Conditionalization.Darren Bradley - 2011 - Synthese 182 (3):393-411.
    How do temporal and eternal beliefs interact? I argue that acquiring a temporal belief should have no effect on eternal beliefs for an important range of cases. Thus, I oppose the popular view that new norms of belief change must be introduced for cases where the only change is the passing of time. I defend this position from the purported counter-examples of the Prisoner and Sleeping Beauty. I distinguish two importantly different ways in which temporal beliefs can be acquired and (...)
  11. Confirmation in a Branching World: The Everett Interpretation and Sleeping Beauty.Darren Bradley - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):323-342.
    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 (...)
  12. Bayesianism And Self-Locating Beliefs.Darren Bradley - 2007 - Dissertation, Stanford University
    How should we update our beliefs when we learn new evidence? Bayesian confirmation theory provides a widely accepted and well understood answer – we should conditionalize. But this theory has a problem with self-locating beliefs, beliefs that tell you where you are in the world, as opposed to what the world is like. To see the problem, consider your current belief that it is January. You might be absolutely, 100%, sure that it is January. But you will soon believe it (...)
  13. Sleeping Beauty: A Note on Dorr's Argument for 1/3.Darren Bradley - 2003 - Analysis 63 (279):266–268.
    Cian Dorr (2002) gives an argument for the 1/3 position in Sleeping Beauty. I argue this is based on a mistake about Sleeping Beauty's epistemic position.
  14. When Betting Odds and Credences Come Apart: More Worries for Dutch Book Arguments.Darren Bradley & Hannes Leitgeb - 2006 - Analysis 66 (290):119–127.
    If an agent believes that the probability of E being true is 1/2, should she accept a bet on E at even odds or better? Yes, but only given certain conditions. This paper is about what those conditions are. In particular, we think that there is a condition that has been overlooked so far in the literature. We discovered it in response to a paper by Hitchcock (2004) in which he argues for the 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem. (...)
  15. Putting a Value on Beauty.Rachael Briggs - 2010 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler and John Hawthorne (Eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Volume 3. Oxford University Press:3-34.
  16. Agreement and Updating for Self-Locating Belief.Michael Caie - manuscript -
  17. Agreement Theorems for Self-Locating Belief.Michael Caie - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic.
  18. The Rest of Sleeping Beauty.Jessi Cisewski, Joseph B. Kadane, Mark J. Schervish, Teddy Seidenfeld & Rafael Stern - unknown -
  19. Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials.D. Clarke - 2000 - Knowledge, Technology & Policy 13 (1):106-107.
  20. Sleeping Beauty Goes to the Lab: The Psychology of Self-Locating Evidence.Matteo Colombo, Jun Lai & Vincenzo Crupi - unknown -
    The Sleeping Beauty Problem is a challenging puzzle in probabilistic reasoning, which has attracted enormous attention and still fosters ongoing debate. The problem goes as follows: Suppose that some researchers are going to put you to sleep. During the two days that your sleep will last, they will briefly wake you up either once or twice, depending on the toss of a fair coin. After each waking, they will put you back to sleep with a drug that makes you forget (...)
  21. A Dutch Book Against Sleeping Beauties Who Are Evidential Decision Theorists.Vincent Conitzer - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2887-2899.
    In the context of the Sleeping Beauty problem, it has been argued that so-called “halfers” can avoid Dutch book arguments by adopting evidential decision theory. I introduce a Dutch book for a variant of the Sleeping Beauty problem and argue that evidential decision theorists fall prey to it, whether they are halfers or thirders. The argument crucially requires that an action can provide evidence for what the agent would do not only at other decision points where she has exactly the (...)
  22. A Devastating Example for the Halfer Rule.Vincent Conitzer - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):1985-1992.
    How should we update de dicto beliefs in the face of de se evidence? The Sleeping Beauty problem divides philosophers into two camps, halfers and thirders. But there is some disagreement among halfers about how their position should generalize to other examples. A full generalization is not always given; one notable exception is the Halfer Rule, under which the agent updates her uncentered beliefs based on only the uncentered part of her evidence. In this brief article, I provide a simple (...)
  23. Can Rational Choice Guide Us to Correct de Se Beliefs?Vincent Conitzer - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):4107-4119.
    Significant controversy remains about what constitute correct self-locating beliefs in scenarios such as the Sleeping Beauty problem, with proponents on both the “halfer” and “thirder” sides. To attempt to settle the issue, one natural approach consists in creating decision variants of the problem, determining what actions the various candidate beliefs prescribe, and assessing whether these actions are reasonable when we step back. Dutch book arguments are a special case of this approach, but other Sleeping Beauty games have also been constructed (...)
  24. Imagining and Sleeping Beauty: A Case for Double-Halfers.Mikael Cozic - 2011 - International Journal of Approximate Reasoning 52 (2):137-143.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a case for the double-halfer position in the sleeping beauty. This case relies on the use of the so-called imaging rule for probabilistic dynamics as a substitute for conditionalization. It is argued that the imaging rule is the appropriate one for dealing with belief change in sleeping beauty and that under natural assumptions, this rule results in the double-halfer position.
  25. Sleeping Beauty: Debate on a Paradox.Laurent Delabre - unknown -
    I restate the Sleeping Beauty probabilistic paradox and offer an overview of the ongoing discussions that aim at resolving the problem. I summarize and eventually criticize briefly the various views: neutral position, Bayesian thirdism, non-Bayesian thirdism, traditional halfism, as well as the new halfism of credence conservation, a somewhat neglected but interesting point of view. I try at the same time to clarify some essential notions, to introduce the main actors of the debate, and to anticipate its evolution.
  26. A Challenge for Halfers.Cian Dorr - manuscript -
    Let me regale you with yet another variant of the story of Sleeping Beauty. In this one, the experiment takes place in a room with a skylight, so that Beauty can see what the weather is like outside as soon as she wakes up. The weather can be in any one of n different states on any given day. Beauty regards each of these states as equiprobable; moreover, she takes there to be no correlation between the weather on Monday and (...)
  27. Sleeping Beauty: In Defence of Elga.Cian Dorr - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):292–296.
    Argues for the "thirder" solution to the Sleeping Beauty puzzle. The argument turns on an analogy with a variant case, in which a coin-toss on Monday night determines whether one's memories of Monday are permanently erased, or merely suspended in such a way that they will return some time after one wakes up on Tuesday.
  28. The Evidential Relevance of Self-Locating Information.Kai Draper - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):185-202.
    Philosophical interest in the role of self-locating information in the confirmation of hypotheses has intensified in virtue of the Sleeping Beauty problem. If the correct solution to that problem is 1/3, various attractive views on confirmation and probabilistic reasoning appear to be undermined; and some writers have used the problem as a basis for rejecting some of those views. My interest here is in two such views. One of them is the thesis that self-locating information cannot be evidentially relevant to (...)
  29. Sleeping Beauty's Evidence.Kai Draper - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):61 - 70.
    The probability puzzle known as "Sleeping Beauty" raises interesting and difficult ques tions about the nature of evidence. It appears that the puzzle itself has already been solved, for there is a near consensus in the relevant philosophical literature that 1/3 is the correct answer.' Be that as it may, no new argument for that result is offered here. Instead, an at tempt is made to clarify the nature of certain problems that an answer of 1/3 raises for theories of (...)
  30. Diachronic Dutch Books and Sleeping Beauty.Kai Draper & Joel Pust - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):281 - 287.
    Hitchcock advances a diachronic Dutch Book argument (DDB) for a 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem. Bradley and Leitgeb argue that Hitchcock’s DDB argument fails. We demonstrate the following: (a) Bradley and Leitgeb’s criticism of Hitchcock is unconvincing; (b) nonetheless, there are serious reasons to worry about the success of Hitchcock’s argument; (c) however, it is possible to construct a new DDB for 1/3 about which such worries cannot be raised.
  31. Defeating Dr. Evil with Self-Locating Belief.Adam Elga - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):383–396.
    Dr. Evil learns that a duplicate of Dr. Evil has been created. Upon learning this, how seriously should he take the hypothesis that he himself is that duplicate? I answer: very seriously. I defend a principle of indifference for self-locating belief which entails that after Dr. Evil learns that a duplicate has been created, he ought to have exactly the same degree of belief that he is Dr. Evil as that he is the duplicate. More generally, the principle shows that (...)
  32. Self-Locating Belief and the Sleeping Beauty Problem.Adam Elga - 2000 - Analysis 60 (2):143–147.
    In addition to being uncertain about what the world is like, one can also be uncertain about one’s own spatial or temporal location in the world. My aim is to pose a problem arising from the interaction between these two sorts of uncertainty, solve the problem, and draw two lessons from the solution.
  33. An Objectivist Argument for Thirdism.Ian Evans, Don Fallis, Peter Gross, Terry Horgan, Jenann Ismael, John Pollock, Paul D. Thorn, Jacob N. Caton, Adam Arico, Daniel Sanderman, Orlin Vakerelov, Nathan Ballantyne, Matthew S. Bedke, Brian Fiala & Martin Fricke - 2007 - Analysis 68 (2):149-155.
    Bayesians take “definite” or “single-case” probabilities to be basic. Definite probabilities attach to closed formulas or propositions. We write them here using small caps: PROB(P) and PROB(P/Q). Most objective probability theories begin instead with “indefinite” or “general” probabilities (sometimes called “statistical probabilities”). Indefinite probabilities attach to open formulas or propositions. We write indefinite probabilities using lower case “prob” and free variables: prob(Bx/Ax). The indefinite probability of an A being a B is not about any particular A, but rather about the (...)
  34. Sleeping Beauty: Theme and Variations.J. Finkelstein - unknown -
    Six variations on the Sleeping beauty theme are presented.
  35. Sleeping Beauty and the Problem of World Reduction.Paul Franceschi - manuscript -
    I describe in this paper a solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem. I begin with the consensual emerald case and discuss then Bostrom's Incubator gedanken. I address then the Sleeping Beauty problem. I argue that the root cause of the flaw in the argument for 1/3 is an erroneous assimilation with a repeated experiment. I show that the same type of analysis also applies to Elga's version of the argument for 1/3. Lastly, I show that the core of the Sleeping (...)
  36. An Ontological Solution to the Sleeping Beauty Problem.Paul Franceschi - unknown -
    I describe in this paper an ontological solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem. I begin with describing the Entanglement urn experiment. I restate first the Sleeping Beauty problem from a wider perspective than the usual opposition between halfers and thirders. I also argue that the Sleeping Beauty experiment is best modelled with the Entanglement urn. I draw then the consequences of considering that some balls in the Entanglement urn have ontologically different properties form normal ones. The upshot is that I (...)
  37. Sleeping Beauty in Flatland.Paul Franceschi - unknown -
    I present a solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem. I begin with the consensual emerald case and describe then a set of relevant urn analogies and situations. These latter experiments make it easier to diagnose the flaw in the thirder's line of reasoning. I discuss in detail the root cause of the flaw in the argument for 1/3 which is an erroneous assimilation with a repeated experiment. Lastly, I discuss an informative variant of the original Sleeping Beauty experiment that casts (...)
  38. La Ramification Selon Everett: Une Interprétation Critiquée Mais Logiquement Impeccable de la Mécanique Quantique.Roland Frïasé - 1987 - History and Philosophy of Logic 8 (2):215-241.
    Pour résoudre les paradoxes bien connus de la mécanique quantique, on propose une interprétation par ramification (ou univers parallèles) analogue à celle d?Everett, mais avec des différences: (i) on propose une infinité continue de branches, dont les poids (o[ugrave] probabilités) se calculent par intégrale; (ii) les branches sont séparées par des ramifieurs qui se propagent à la vitesse de la lumière. Lorsqu?est négligeable la composante d?énergie négative de la fonction d?onde, le poids de chaque branche en un point donné u (...)
  39. Choosing Beauty.Simon Friederich - unknown -
    Reasoning that takes into account self-locating evidence in apparently plausible ways sometimes yields the startling conclusion that rational credences are such as if agents had bizarre causal powers. The present paper introduces a novel version of the Sleeping Beauty problem—Choosing Beauty—for which the response to the problem advocated by David Lewis unappealingly yields this conclusion. Furthermore, it suggests as a general desideratum for approaches to problems of self-locating belief that they should not recommend credences that are as if anyone had (...)
  40. The End of Sleeping Beauty's Nightmare.Berry Groisman - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):409-416.
    The way a rational agent changes her belief in certain propositions/hypotheses in the light of new evidence lies at the heart of Bayesian inference. The basic natural assumption, as summarized in van Fraassen's Reflection Principle, would be that in the absence of new evidence the belief should not change. Yet, there are examples that are claimed to violate this assumption. The apparent paradox presented by such examples, if not settled, would demonstrate the inconsistency and/or incompleteness of the Bayesian approach, and (...)
  41. The Measure of Existence of a Quantum World and the Sleeping Beauty Problem.Berry Groisman, Na'ama Hallakoun & Lev Vaidman - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):695-706.
    Next SectionAn attempt to resolve the controversy regarding the solution of the Sleeping Beauty Problem in the framework of the Many-Worlds Interpretation led to a new controversy regarding the Quantum Sleeping Beauty Problem. We apply the concept of a measure of existence of a world and reach the solution known as ‘thirder’ solution which differs from Peter Lewis’s ‘halfer’ assertion. We argue that this method provides a simple and powerful tool for analysing rational decision theory problems.
  42. Sleeping Beauty in a Grain of Rice.David Haig - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (1):23-37.
    In the Sleeping Beauty problem, Beauty is woken once if a coin lands heads or twice if the coin lands tails but promptly forgets each waking on returning to sleep. Philosophers have divided over whether her waking credence in heads should be a half or a third. Beauty has centered beliefs about her world and about her location in that world. When given new information about her location she should update her worldly beliefs before updating her locative beliefs. When she (...)
  43. Sleeping Beauty Reconsidered: Conditioning and Reflection in Asynchronous Systems.Joseph Halpern - 2004 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Proceedings of the Twentieth Conference on Uncertainty in Ai. Oxford University Press. pp. 111-142.
  44. The Role of the Protocol in Anthropic Reasoning.Joseph Y. Halpern - 2015 - Ergo, an Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2 (9):195-206.
    I show how thinking in terms of the protocol used can help clarify problems related to anthropic reasoning and self-location, such as the Doomsday Argument and the Sleeping Beauty Problem.
  45. Inertia, Optimism and Beauty.Patrick Hawley - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):85-103.
    The best arguments for the 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem all require that when Beauty awakes on Monday she should be uncertain what day it is. I argue that this claim should be rejected, thereby clearing the way to accept the 1/2 solution.
  46. Three Models of Sequential Belief Updating on Uncertain Evidence.James Hawthorne - 2004 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (1):89-123.
    Jeffrey updating is a natural extension of Bayesian updating to cases where the evidence is uncertain. But, the resulting degrees of belief appear to be sensitive to the order in which the uncertain evidence is acquired, a rather un-Bayesian looking effect. This order dependence results from the way in which basic Jeffrey updating is usually extended to sequences of updates. The usual extension seems very natural, but there are other plausible ways to extend Bayesian updating that maintain order-independence. I will (...)
  47. Letting Sleeping Truths Lie.Marvin Henberg - 1986 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (2):281 - 295.
  48. Beauty and the Bets.Christopher Hitchcock - 2004 - Synthese 139 (3):405 - 420.
    In the Sleeping Beauty problem, Beauty is uncertain whether the outcome of a certain coin toss was heads or tails. One argument suggests that her degree of belief in heads should be 1/3, while a second suggests that it should be 1/2. Prima facie, the argument for 1/2 appears to be stronger. I offer a diachronic Dutch Book argument in favor of 1/3. Even for those who are not routinely persuaded by diachronic Dutch Book arguments, this one has some important (...)
  49. Essays on Paradoxes.Terence Horgan - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This volume brings together Terence Horgan's essays on paradoxes, both published and new. A common theme unifying these essays is that philosophically interesting paradoxes typically resist either easy solutions or solutions that are formally/mathematically highly technical. Another unifying theme is that such paradoxes often have deep-sometimes disturbing-philosophical morals.
  50. Generalized Conditionalization and the Sleeping Beauty Problem, II.Terry Horgan - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):811-839.
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