PhilSci Archive

Resolving the observer reference class problem in cosmology

Friederich, Simon (2017) Resolving the observer reference class problem in cosmology. Physical Review D, 95 (12). p. 123520.

[img]
Preview
Text
typicalitypaper.pdf

Download (239kB) | Preview

Abstract

The assumption that we are typical observers plays a core role in attempts to make multiverse theories empirically testable. A widely shared worry about this assumption is that it suffers from systematic ambiguity concerning the reference class of observers with respect to which typicality is assumed. As a way out, Srednicki and Hartle recommend that we empirically test typicality with respect to different candidate reference classes in analogy to how we test physical theories. Unfortunately, as this paper argues, this idea fails because typicality is not the kind of assumption that can be subjected to empirical tests. As an alternative, a background information constraint on observer reference class choice is suggested according to which the observer reference class should be chosen such that it includes precisely those observers who one could possibly be, given one’s assumed background information.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Friederich, Simons.m.friederich@rug.nl
Keywords: Multiverse, anthropic reasoning, indifference principles, reference class problem
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Dr. Simon Friederich
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2017 15:20
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2017 15:20
Item ID: 13206
Journal or Publication Title: Physical Review D
Official URL: https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/Phys...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1103/PhysRevD.95.123520
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 17 May 2017
Page Range: p. 123520
Volume: 95
Number: 12
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13206

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item