The end of Sleeping Beauty’s nightmare

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):409-416 (2008)
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The way a rational agent changes her belief in certain propositions/hypotheses in the light of new evidence lies at the heart of Bayesian inference. The basic natural assumption, as summarized in van Fraassen's Reflection Principle, would be that in the absence of new evidence the belief should not change. Yet, there are examples that are claimed to violate this assumption. The apparent paradox presented by such examples, if not settled, would demonstrate the inconsistency and/or incompleteness of the Bayesian approach, and without eliminating this inconsistency, the approach cannot be regarded as scientific. The Sleeping Beauty Problem is just such an example. The existing attempts to solve the problem fall into three categories. The first two share the view that new evidence is absent, but differ about the conclusion of whether Sleeping Beauty should change her belief or not, and why. The third category is characterized by the view that, after all, new evidence is involved. My solution is radically different and does not fall into either of these categories. I deflate the paradox by arguing that the two different degrees of belief presented in the Sleeping Beauty Problem are in fact beliefs in two different propositions, i.e., there is no need to explain the change of belief. The Sleeping Beauty Problem The Problem Deflated 2.1 From contradiction to consistency 2.2 The inanimate version 2.3 Back to SB Summary CiteULike Connotea What's this?



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Citations of this work

Typicality and Notions of Probability in Physics.Sheldon Goldstein - 2012 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem & Meir Hemmo (eds.), Probability in Physics. Springer. pp. 59--71.
Confirmation in a Branching World: The Everett Interpretation and Sleeping Beauty.Darren Bradley - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):323-342.
Sleeping Beauty: Exploring a Neglected Solution.Laureano Luna - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):1069-1092.
Probability in the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Lev Vaidman - 2011 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem & Meir Hemmo (eds.), Probability in Physics. Springer. pp. 299--311.

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References found in this work

Belief and the Will.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (5):235-256.
Belief and the will.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 235-256.
Some Problems for Conditionalization and Reflection.Frank Arntzenius - 2003 - Journal of Philosophy 100 (7):356-370.

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