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No One Knows the Date or the Hour: An Unorthodox Application of Rev. Bayes's Theorem

Bartha, Paul and Hitchcock, Christopher (1999) No One Knows the Date or the Hour: An Unorthodox Application of Rev. Bayes's Theorem. Philosophy of Science, 66 (S). S339-S353. ISSN 0031-8248. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140408-110342399

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Abstract

Carter and Leslie (1996) have argued, using Bayes's theorem, that our being alive now supports the hypothesis of an early 'Doomsday'. Unlike some critics (Eckhardt 1997), we accept their argument in part: given that we exist, our existence now indeed favors 'Doom sooner' over 'Doom later'. The very fact of our existence, however, favors 'Doom later'. In simple cases, a hypothetical approach to the problem of 'old evidence' shows that these two effects cancel out: our existence now yields no information about the coming of Doom. More complex cases suggest a move from countably additive to non-standard probability measures.


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Additional Information:© 1999 by the Philosophy of Science Association.
Issue or Number:S
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140408-110342399
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140408-110342399
Official Citation:No One Knows the Date or the Hour: An Unorthodox Application of Rev. Bayes's Theorem Paul Bartha and Christopher Hitchcock Philosophy of Science, Vol. 66, Supplement. Proceedings of the 1998 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers (Sep., 1999), pp. S339-S353 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Philosophy of Science Association Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188782
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44760
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Susan Vite
Deposited On:08 Apr 2014 21:24
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:22

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