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Belief update across fission

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Early online date11 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Abstract

When an agent undergoes fission, how should the beliefs of the fission results relate to the pre-fission beliefs? This question is important for the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics, but it is of independent philosophical interest. Among other things, fission scenarios demonstrate that ‘self-locating’ information can affect the probability of uncentred propositions even if an agent has no essentially self-locating uncertainty. I present a general update rule for centred beliefs that gives sensible verdicts in cases of fission, without relying on controversial metaphysical or linguistic assumptions. The rule is supported by the same considerations that support standard conditioning in the traditional framework of uncentred propositions.

1 The Problem

2 Conditioning and Self-location

3 Shifted Conditioning

4 Transition Probabilities

5 Ockhamism

6 Diachronic Rationality

7 Consequences and Conclusions

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