, Volume 157, Issue 1, pp 59–78 | Cite as

Sleeping Beauty and Self-location: A Hybrid Model

  • Nick Bostrom
Original Paper


The Sleeping Beauty problem is test stone for theories about self- locating belief, i.e. theories about how we should reason when data or theories contain indexical information. Opinion on this problem is split between two camps, those who defend the “1/2 view” and those who advocate the “1/3 view”. I argue that both these positions are mistaken. Instead, I propose a new “hybrid” model, which avoids the faults of the standard views while retaining their attractive properties. This model appears to violate Bayesian conditionalization, but I argue that this is not the case. By paying close attention to the details of conditionalization in contexts where indexical information is relevant, we discover that the hybrid model is in fact consistent with Bayesian kinematics. If the proposed model is correct, there are important lessons for the study of self-location, observation selection theory, and anthropic reasoning.


Self-locating belief Probability indexical information Epistemology sleeping beauty problem Anthropic principle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUk

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