Journal Article

The End of Sleeping Beauty's Nightmare

Berry Groisman

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 59, issue 3, pages 409-416
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axn015
The End of Sleeping Beauty's Nightmare

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Science and Mathematics

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The way a rational agent changes her belief in certain propositions/hypotheses in the light of new evidence lies at the heart of Bayesian inference. The basic natural assumption, as summarized in van Fraassen's Reflection Principle ([1984]), would be that in the absence of new evidence the belief should not change. Yet, there are examples that are claimed to violate this assumption. The apparent paradox presented by such examples, if not settled, would demonstrate the inconsistency and/or incompleteness of the Bayesian approach, and without eliminating this inconsistency, the approach cannot be regarded as scientific. The Sleeping Beauty Problem is just such an example. The existing attempts to solve the problem fall into three categories. The first two share the view that new evidence is absent, but differ about the conclusion of whether Sleeping Beauty should change her belief or not, and why. The third category is characterized by the view that, after all, new evidence (although hidden from the initial view) is involved. My solution is radically different and does not fall into either of these categories. I deflate the paradox by arguing that the two different degrees of belief presented in the Sleeping Beauty Problem are in fact beliefs in two different propositions, i.e., there is no need to explain the (un)change of belief.

The Sleeping Beauty Problem

The Problem Deflated 2.1

From contradiction to consistency

2.2

The inanimate version

2.3

Back to SB

Summary

Journal Article.  3060 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.