Are you a Sim?

Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):425–431 (2003)
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Nick Bostrom argues that if we accept some plausible assumptions about how the future will unfold, we should believe we are probably not humans. The argument appeals crucially to an indifference principle whose precise content is a little unclear. I set out four possible interpretations of the principle, none of which can be used to support Bostrom’s argument. On the first two interpretations the principle is false, on the third it does not entail the conclusion, and on the fourth it only entails the conclusion given an auxiliary hypothesis that we have no reason to believe.

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Brian Weatherson
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


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