Sleeping beauty meets monday

Karl Karlander, Levi Spectre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Sleeping Beauty problem-first presented by A. Elga in a philosophical context-has captured much attention. The problem, we contend, is more aptly regarded as a paradox: apparently, there are cases where one ought to change one's credence in an event's taking place even though one gains no new information or evidence, or alternatively, one ought to have a credence other than 1/2 in the outcome of a future coin toss even though one knows that the coin is fair. In this paper we argue for two claims. First, that Sleeping Beauty does gain potentially new relevant information upon waking up on Monday. Second, his credence shift is warranted provided it accords with a calculation that is a result of conditionalization on the relevant information: "this day is an experiment waking day" (a day within the experiment on which one is woken up). Since Sleeping Beauty knows what days d could refer to, he can calculate the probability that the referred to waking day is a Monday or a Tuesday providing an adequate resolution of the paradox.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-412
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Conditionalization
  • Credence
  • Probability
  • Referential knowledge
  • Sleeping Beauty problem


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