Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3717-3723 (2020)

Sinan Dogramaci
University of Texas at Austin
A Boltzmann Brain, haphazardly formed through the unlikely but still possible random assembly of physical particles, is a conscious brain having experiences just like an ordinary person. The skeptical possibility of being a Boltzmann Brain is an especially gripping one: scientific evidence suggests our actual universe’s full history may ultimately contain countless short-lived Boltzmann Brains with experiences just like yours or mine. I propose a solution to the skeptical challenge posed by these countless actual Boltzmann Brains. My key idea is roughly this: the skeptical argument that you’re one of the Boltzmann Brains requires you to make a statistical inference, but the Principle of Total Evidence blocks us from making the inference. I discuss how my solution contrasts with a recent suggestion, made by Sean Carroll and David Chalmers, for how to address the skeptical challenge posed by Boltzmann Brains. And I discuss how my solution handles certain relevant concerns about what to do when we have higher-order evidence indicating that our first-order evidence is misleading.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01404-y
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.

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