Erkenntnis 78 (1):95-107 (2013)
Nick Bostrom’s ‘Simulation Argument’ purports to show that, unless we are confident that advanced ‘posthuman’ civilizations are either extremely rare or extremely rarely interested in running simulations of their own ancestors, we should assign significant credence to the hypothesis that we are simulated. I argue that Bostrom does not succeed in grounding this constraint on credence. I first show that the Simulation Argument requires a curious form of selective scepticism, for it presupposes that we possess good evidence for claims about the physical limits of computation and yet lack good evidence for claims about our own physical constitution. I then show that two ways of modifying the argument so as to remove the need for this presupposition fail to preserve the original conclusion. Finally, I argue that, while there are unusual circumstances in which Bostrom’s selective scepticism might be reasonable, we do not currently find ourselves in such circumstances. There is no good reason to uphold the selective scepticism the Simulation Argument presupposes. There is thus no good reason to believe its conclusion.
|Keywords||simulation argument scepticism self-locating belief|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Defeating Dr. Evil with Self-Locating Belief.Adam Elga - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2):383–396.
Should We Respond to Evil with Indifference?Brian Weatherson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):613–635.
Citations of this work BETA
Simulation, Self-Extinction, and Philosophy in the Service of Human Civilization.Jeffrey White - forthcoming - AI and Society.
Similar books and articles
The Doomsday Argument and the Simulation Argument.Peter J. Lewis - 2013 - Synthese 190 (18):4009-4022.
The Doomsday Simulation Argument. Or Why Isn't the End Nigh, and You're Not Living in a Simulation.Mr István A. Aranyosi - manuscript
Theological Implications of the Simulation Argument.Eric Steinhart - 2010 - Ars Disputandi 10:23-37.
Donnellan on Neptune.Robin Jeshion - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):111-135.
A Computer Simulation of the Argument From Disagreement.Johan E. Gustafsson & Martin Peterson - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):387–405.
The Simulation Argument: Reply to Weatherson.Nick Bostrom - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (218):90 - 97.
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?By Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243–255.
Global Scepticism, Underdetermination and Metaphysical Possibility.Luca Moretti - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):381-403.
Added to index2012-09-13
Total downloads136 ( #34,453 of 2,158,472 )
Recent downloads (6 months)16 ( #21,765 of 2,158,472 )
How can I increase my downloads?