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Stuart_Armstrong comments on The Doomsday argument in anthropic decision theory - Less Wrong Discussion

5 Post author: Stuart_Armstrong 31 August 2017 01:44PM

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Comment author: Stuart_Armstrong 02 September 2017 06:27:13PM 2 points [-]

If I were a professional philosopher working in anthropic reasoning, I don't see how I can justify not taking a paper about anthropic reasoning seriously

But there are no/few philosophers working in "anthropic reasoning" - there are many working in "anthropic probability", to which my paper is an interesting irrelevance. it's essentially asking and answering the wrong question, while claiming that their own question is meaningless (and doing so without quoting some of the probability/decision theory stuff which might back up the "anthropic probabilities don't exist/matter" claim from first principles).

I expected the paper would get published, but I always knew it was a bit of a challenge, because it didn't fit inside the right silos. And the main problem with academia here is that people tend to stay in their silos.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 05 September 2017 02:47:50PM 1 point [-]

But there are no/few philosophers working in "anthropic reasoning" - there are many working in "anthropic probability", to which my paper is an interesting irrelevance. it's essentially asking and answering the wrong question, while claiming that their own question is meaningless

Seems like a good explanation of what happened to this paper specifically.

(and doing so without quoting some of the probability/decision theory stuff which might back up the "anthropic probabilities don't exist/matter" claim from first principles)

I guess that would be the thing to try next, if one was intent on pushing this stuff back into academia.

And the main problem with academia here is that people tend to stay in their silos.

By doing that they can better know what the fashionable topics are, what referees want to see in a paper, etc., which help them maximize the chances of getting papers published. This seems to be another downside of the current peer review system as well as the larger publish-or-perish academic culture.