Anthropic decision theory

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Stuart Armstrong

The Adam and Eve problem: what are the odds of descendants?

This paper sets out to solve the Sleeping Beauty problem and various related anthropic problems, not through the calculation of anthropic probabilities, but through finding the correct decision to make.

Given certain simple assumptions, it turns out to be possible to do so without knowing the underlying anthropic probabilities.

Most common anthropic problems are underspecified from the decision perspective, and this can explain some of the differing intuitions in the subject: selfless and selfish agents, total and average utilitarians, will all reach different decisions in the same problem.

These results are formalised into an anthropic decision theory, that is them used to solve many anthropic problems and paradoxes, such as the Presumptuous Philosopher, Adam and Eve, and Doomsday problems…….
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Written by physicsgg

November 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

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