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What, Precisely, is Carter's Doomsday Argument?

McCutcheon, Randall G. (2018) What, Precisely, is Carter's Doomsday Argument? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Paying strict attention to Brandon Carter's several published renditions of anthropic reasoning, we present a ``nutshell'' version of the Doomsday argument that is truer to Carter's principles than the standard balls-and-urns or otherwise ``naive Bayesian'' versions that proliferate in the literature. At modest cost in terms of complication, the argument avoids commitment to many of the half-truths that have inspired so many to rise up against other toy versions, never adopting posterior outside of the convex hull of one's prior distribution over the ``true chance'' of Doom. The hyper-pessimistic position of the standard balls-and-urn presentation and the hyper-optimistic position of naive self-indicators are seen to arise from dubiously extreme prior distributions, leaving room for a more satisfying and plausible intermediate solution.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
McCutcheon, Randall G.rmcctchn@memphis.edu0000-0002-5305-3662
Keywords: Doomsday Argument; Anthropic Principle
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Dr. Randall G. McCutcheon
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 14:10
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2018 14:10
Item ID: 15273
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 7 November 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15273

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