Quantum Superposition, Necessity and the Identity of Indiscernibles
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Those who interpret quantum mechanics literally are forced to follow some variant of Everett's relative state formulation (or "many worlds" interpretation). It is generally assumed that this is a rather bizarre result that many physicists (especially cosmologists) have been forced into because of the evidence. I look at the history of philosophy, however, reveals that rationalism has always flirted with this very idea, from Parmenides to Leibniz to modern times. I will survey some of the philosophical history, and show how the so-called paradox of quantum superposition can be considered a consequence of basic rationalist assumptions such as the principle of sufficient reason and the identity of indiscernibles.
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