, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 333–351 | Cite as

Generalized Conditionalization and the Sleeping Beauty Problem

  • Terry Horgan
  • Anna Mahtani
Original Article


We present a new argument for the claim that in the Sleeping Beauty problem, the probability that the coin comes up heads is 1/3. Our argument depends on a principle for the updating of probabilities that we call ‘generalized conditionalization’, and on a species of generalized conditionalization we call ‘synchronic conditionalization on old information’. We set forth a rationale for the legitimacy of generalized conditionalization, and we explain why our new argument for thirdism is immune to two attacks that Pust (Synthese 160:97–101, 2008) has leveled at other arguments for thirdism.


Preliminary Probability Generalize Conditionalization Epistemic Situation Epistemic Probability Principal Principle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Arntzenius, F. (2003). Some problems for conditionalization and reflection. Journal of Philosophy, 100, 356–370.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes, E. C. (1999). The quantitative problem of old evidence. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 50, 249–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dorr, C. (2002). Sleeping beauty: In defence of Elga. Analysis, 62, 292–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Elga, A. (2000). Self-locating belief and the sleeping beauty problem. Analysis, 60, 143–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Glymour, C. (1980). Theory and evidence. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Horgan, T. (2004). Sleeping beauty awakened: New odds at the dawn of the new day. Analysis, 64, 10–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Horgan, T. (2007). Synchronic Bayesian updating and the generalized sleeping beauty problem. Analysis, 67, 50–59.Google Scholar
  8. Horgan, T. (2008). Synchronic Bayesian updating and the sleeping beauty problem: Reply to Pust. Synthese, 160, 155–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Howson, C. (1984). Bayesianism and support by novel facts. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 35, 245–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Howson, C. (1985). Some recent objections to the Bayesian theory of support. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 36, 305–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Howson, C. (1991). The ‘old evidence’ problem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 42, 547–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jeffrey, R. (1995). Probability reparation: The problem of new explanation. Philosophical Studies, 77, 97–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lewis, D. (2001). Sleeping beauty: Reply to Elga. Analysis, 62, 47–53.Google Scholar
  14. Monton, B. (2006). God, fine-tuning, the problem of old evidence. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 57, 405–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pust, J. (2008). Horgan on sleeping beauty. Synthese, 160, 97–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pust, J. (2011) Sleeping beauty, evidential support and indexical knowledge: Reply to Horgan. Synthese (online first).Google Scholar
  17. Pust, J. (forthcoming). Conditionalization and essentially indexical credence. Journal of Philosophy. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Oxford UniversityOxford, EnglandUK

Personalised recommendations