, Volume 181, Issue 3, pp 367–374

Qeauty and the books: a response to Lewis’s quantum sleeping beauty problem


DOI: 10.1007/s11229-010-9715-5

Cite this article as:
Peterson, D. Synthese (2011) 181: 367. doi:10.1007/s11229-010-9715-5


In his 2007 paper “Quantum Sleeping Beauty”, Peter Lewis poses a problem for the supporters’ of the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics appeal to subjective probability. Lewis’s argument hinges on parallels between the traditional “sleeping beauty” problem in epistemology and a quantum variant. These two cases, Lewis argues, advocate different treatments of credences even though they share important epistemic similarities, leading to a tension between the traditional solution to the sleeping beauty problem (typically called the “thirder” solution) and Everettian quantum mechanics. In this paper I examine the metaphysical and epistemological differences between Lewis’s two cases, and, in particular, I show how diachronic Dutch book arguments support both the thirder solution in the traditional case and the Everettian’s solution in the variant case. These Dutch books, I argue, reveal an important disanalogy between Lewis’s two cases such that Lewis’s argument does not reveal an inconsistency in either the Everettian’s or the thirder’s assignment of credences.


Sleeping beauty problem Quantum sleeping beauty problem Many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations