Probabilistic arguments for multiple universes

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (3):288–307 (2007)
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Abstract

In this paper, we discuss three probabilistic arguments for the existence of multiple universes. First, we provide an analysis of total evidence and use that analysis to defend Roger White's "this universe" objection to a standard fine-tuning argument for multiple universes. Second, we explain why Rodney Holder's recent cosmological argument for multiple universes is unconvincing. Third, we develop a "Cartesian argument" for multiple universes. While this argument is not open to the objections previously noted, we show that, given certain highly plausible assumptions about evidence and epistemic probability, the proposition which it treats as evidence cannot coherently be regarded as evidence for anything. This raises the question of whether to reject the assumptions or accept that such a proposition cannot be evidence.

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Author Profiles

Joel Pust
University of Delaware
Kaila Draper
University of Delaware
Paul Draper
Purdue University

Citations of this work

Fine-Tuning the Multiverse.Thomas Metcalf - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (1):3-32.
Cartesian Knowledge and Confirmation.Joel Pust - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (6):269-289.

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References found in this work

Theory and Evidence.Clark N. Glymour - 1980 - Princeton University Press.
.R. G. Swinburne - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
The Existence of God.Richard Swinburne - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Probability and Evidence.Paul Horwich - 1982 - Cambridge University Press.

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