David Manley
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
It is well known that de se (or ‘self-locating’) propositions complicate the standard picture of how we should respond to evidence. This has given rise to a substantial literature centered around puzzles like Sleeping Beauty, Dr. Evil, and Doomsday—and it has also sparked controversy over a style of argument that has recently been adopted by theoretical cosmologists. These discussions often dwell on intuitions about a single kind of case, but it’s worth seeking a rule that can unify our treatment of all evidence, whether de dicto or de se. This paper is about three candidates for such a rule, presented as replacements for the standard updating rule. Each rule stems from the idea that we should treat ourselves as a random sample, a heuristic that underlies many of the intuitions that have been pumped in treatments of the standard puzzles. But each rule also yields some strange results when applied across the board. This leaves us with some difficult options. We can seek another way to refine the random-sample heuristic, e.g. by restricting one of our rules. We can try to live with the strange results, perhaps granting that useful principles can fail at the margins. Or we can reject the random-sample heuristic as fatally flawed—which means rethinking its influence in even the simplest cases.
Keywords self-locating belief  de se belief  sleeping beauty
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References found in this work BETA

Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Attitudes de Dicto and de Se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.

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Citations of this work BETA

Many Worlds, the Born Rule, and Self-Locating Uncertainty.Sean M. Carroll & Charles T. Sebens - 2014 - In Daniele C. Struppa & Jeffrey M. Tollaksen (eds.), Quantum Theory: A Two-Time Success Story. Springer. pp. 157-169.
Immortal Beauty: Does Existence Confirm Reincarnation?Jens Jäger - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

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