Qeauty and the books: a response to Lewis’s quantum sleeping beauty problem
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- Peterson, D. Synthese (2011) 181: 367. doi:10.1007/s11229-010-9715-5
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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.