Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy

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9780415883948: Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy
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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 ("How many universes are there?", "Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?"); evolutionary theory ("How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?"); the problem of time's arrow ("Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation?"); quantum physics ("How can the many-worlds theory be tested?"); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ("How to model them?"); even traffic analysis ("Why is the 'next lane' faster?").

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.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

Recensione:

"From traffic analysis via a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and the problem of the fine-tuning of the universe to the purely philosophical problems of the Doomsday argument and the Sleeping Beauty problem, Bostrom succeeds in shining a new and interesting light on all of these issues." --Wouter Meijs

"Bostrom presents a highly readable and widely relevant work which can be warmly recommended to everyone in philosophy of science."--Christian Wuthrich, Philosophy of Science

"Probably the worst thing one can say about this book is that it is too short....Anthropic Bias is a wonderful achievement, which should find place on the shelf of every serious student of modern philosophy of science, epistemology, and cosmology." --Milan Cirkovic, Foundations of Science

"Anthropic Bias is a synthesis of some of the most interesting and important ideas to emerge from discussion of cosmic fine-tuning, the anthropic principle, and the Doomsday Argument. It deserves a place on the shelves of epistemologists and philosophers of science, as well as specialists interested in the topics just mentioned."--Neil Manson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Contenuti:

Preface
Content
Acknowledgements
Chapter1: Introduction
Observation selection effects
A brief history of anthropic reasoning
Synopsis of this book
Chapter 2: Fine- Tuning Arguments in Cosmology
Does fine-tuning need explaining?
No "Inverse Gambler's Fallacy"
Roger White and Phil Dowe's analysis
Surprising vs. unsurprising improbable events
Modeling observation selection effects: the angel parable
Preliminary conclusions
Chapter 3: Anthropic Principles, the Motley Family
The anthropic principle as expressing an observation selection effect
Anthropic hodgepodge
Freak observers and why earlier formulations are inadequate
The Self-Sampling Assumption
Chapter 4: Thought Experiments Supporting the Self-Sampling
Assumption
The Dungeon gedanken
Two thought experiments by John Leslie
The Incubator gedanken
The reference class problem
Chapter 5: The Self-Sampling Assumption in Science
SSA in cosmology
SSA in thermodynamics
SSA in evolutionary biology
SSA in traffic analysis
SSA in quantum physics
Summary of the case for SSA
Chapter 6: The Doomsday Argument
Background
Doomsday à la Gottv
The incorrectness of Gott's argument
Doomsday à la Leslie
The premisses of DA, and the Old evidence problem
Leslie's views on the reference class problem
Alternative conclusions of DA
Chapter 7: Invalid Objections Against the Doomsday Argument
Doesn't the Doomsday argument fail to "target the truth"? (Korb and Oliver)
The "baby-paradox" (Delahaye; Korb and Oliver)
Isn't a sample size of one too small? (Korb and Oliver)
Couldn't a Cro-Magnon man have used the Doomsday argument? (Various)
We can make the effect go away simply by considering a larger hypothesis space (Dieks; Eastmond; Korb and Oliver)
Aren't we necessarily alive now? (Mark Greenberg)
Sliding reference of "soon" and "late"? (Mark Greenberg)
How could I have been a 16th century human? (Mark Greenberg)
Doesn't your theory presuppose that what happens in causally disconnected regions affects what happens here? (Ken Olum)
But we know so much more about ourselves than our birth ranks! (Various)
The Self-Indication Assumption - Is there safety in numbers? (Various)
Chapter 8: Observer-Relative Chances in Anthropic Reasoning?
Leslie's argument, and why it fails
Observer-relative chances: another go
Discussion: indexical facts - no conflict with physicalism
In conclusion
Appendix: the no-betting results
Chapter 9: Paradoxes of the Self-Sampling Assumption
The Adam & Eve experiments
Analysis of Lazy Adam: predictions and counterfactuals
The UN++ gedanken: reasons and abilities
Quantum Joe: SSA and the Principal Principle
Upshot
Appendix: The Meta-Newcomb problem
Chapter 10: Observation Selection Theory: A Methodology for Anthropic Reasoning
Building blocks, theory constraints and desiderata
The outline of a solution
SSSA: Taking account of indexical information of observer-moments
Reassessing Incubator
How the reference class may be observer-moment relative
Formalizing the theory: the Observation Equation
A quantum generalization of OE
Non-triviality of the reference class: why must be rejected
A subjective factor in the choice of reference class?
Chapter 11: Observation Selection Theory Applied
Cosmological theorizing: fine-tuning and freak observers
The freak-observer problem places only lax demands on the reference class
The Sleeping Beauty problem: modeling imperfect recall
The case of no outsiders
The case with outsiders
Synthesis of the 1/2- and the 1/3-views
Observation selection theory applied to other scientific problems
Robustness of reference class and scientific solidity
Wrap-up
References

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9780415938587: Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy

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ISBN 10: 0415938589 ISBN 13: 9780415938587
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Descrizione libro Taylor & Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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 ("How many universes are there?", "Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?"); evolutionary theory ("How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?"); the problem of time's arrow ("Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation?"); quantum physics ("How can the many-worlds theory be tested?"); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ("How to model them?"); even traffic analysis ("Why is the 'next lane' faster?").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. Codice articolo AAV9780415883948

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Descrizione libro Taylor & Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condizione: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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 ("How many universes are there?", "Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?"); evolutionary theory ("How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?"); the problem of time's arrow ("Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation?"); quantum physics ("How can the many-worlds theory be tested?"); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ("How to model them?"); even traffic analysis ("Why is the 'next lane' faster?").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. Codice articolo BTE9780415883948

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