A thirder and an Everettian: A reply to Lewis's 'Quantum Sleeping Beauty'

Analysis 69 (1):78-86 (2009)
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Since the publication of Elga's seminal paper in 2000, the Sleeping Beauty paradox has been the source of much discussion, particularly in this journal. Over the past few decades the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics 1 has also been much debated. There is an interesting connection between the way these two topics raise issues about subjective probability assignments.This connection is often alluded to, but as far as we know Peter J. Lewis's ‘Quantum Sleeping Beauty’ is the first attempt to examine it explicitly. Lewis claims that the two debates are not independent: to be specific, he argues that accepting the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics requires you to be a ‘halfer’ about Sleeping Beauty, in opposition to the more widely accepted ‘thirder’ solution.This paper will argue that Lewis is wrong. Everettians do not have to be halfers. It is perfectly cogent to be both an Everettian and a thirder.



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David Papineau
King's College London

Citations of this work

Typicality and Notions of Probability in Physics.Sheldon Goldstein - 2012 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem & Meir Hemmo (eds.), Probability in Physics. Springer. pp. 59--71.
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.
Four Problems About Self-Locating Belief.Darren Bradley - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (2):149-177.
Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty.Alastair Wilson - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (3):axt018.

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