Anthropic Bias

Anthropic Bias

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Anthropic Bias explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by qobservation selection effectsq--that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to qhaveq the evidence. This conundrum--sometimes alluded to as qthe anthropic principle, q qself-locating belief, q or qindexical informationq--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 a Eve; the Absent-Minded Driver; the Shooting Room. And there are the applications in contemporary science: cosmology (qHow many universes are there?q, qWhy does the universe appear fine-tuned for life?q); evolutionary theory (qHow improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet?q); the problem of time's arrow (qCan it be given a thermodynamic explanation?q); quantum physics (qHow can the many-worlds theory be tested?q); game-theory problems with imperfect recall (qHow to model them?q); even traffic analysis (qWhy is the 'next lane' faster?q). 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.Anthropic Bias explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by aquot;observation selection effectsaquot;--that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to aquot;haveaquot; ...


Title:Anthropic Bias
Author: Nick Bostrom
Publisher:Psychology Press - 2002
ISBN-13:

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