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- DescriptionAnthropic Bias explores how to reason when you suspect that your evidence is biased by observation selection effects --that is, evidence that has been filtered by the precondition that there be some suitably positioned observer to have the evidence. This conundrum--sometimes alluded to as the anthropic principle, self-locating belief, or indexical information --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 & Eve; the Absent-Minded Driver; the Shooting Room. And there are the applications in contemporary science: cosmology ( How many universes are there? , Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life? ); evolutionary theory ( How improbable was the evolution of intelligent life on our planet? ); the problem of time's arrow ( Can it be given a thermodynamic explanation? ); quantum physics ( How can the many-worlds theory be tested? ); game-theory problems with imperfect recall ( How to model them? ) ; even traffic analysis ( Why is the 'next lane' faster? ). 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.
- Author(s)Nick Bostrom
- PublisherTaylor & Francis Ltd
- Date of Publication12/06/2010
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight340 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
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