Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy

Routledge (2002)
Authors
Nick Bostrom
Oxford University
Abstract
_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: the Doomsday Argument; Sleeping Beauty; the Presumptuous Philosopher; Adam & Eve; the Absent-Minded Driver; the Shooting Room. And there are the applications in contemporary science: cosmology ; evolutionary theory ; the problem of time's arrow ; quantum physics ; game-theory problems with imperfect recall ; even traffic analysis. _Anthropic Bias_ argues that the same principles are at work across all these domains. And it offers a synthesis: a mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects that attempts to meet scientific needs while steering clear of philosophical paradox.
Keywords Methodology  Anthropic principle  Selectivity (Psychology  Observation (Scientific method
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Call number BD241.B657 2002
ISBN(s) 0415938589   9780415938587   9780415883948
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The Mathematical Universe.Max Tegmark - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 38 (2):101-150.
The Bayesian Who Knew Too Much.Yann Benétreau-Dupin - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1527-1542.

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