Branching and Uncertainty

Following Lewis, it is widely held that branching worlds differ in important ways from diverging worlds. There is, however, a simple and natural semantics under which ordinary sentences uttered in branching worlds have much the same truth values as they conventionally have in diverging worlds. Under this semantics, whether branching or diverging, speakers cannot say in advance which branch or world is theirs. They are uncertain as to the outcome. This same semantics ensures the truth of utterances typically made about quantum mechanical contingencies, including statements of uncertainty, if the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics is true. The ‘incoherence problem’ of the Everett interpretation, that it can give no meaning to the notion of uncertainty, is thereby solved. IntroductionMetaphysicsPersonal fissionBranching worldsPhysicsObjections
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axn029
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References found in this work BETA
David Wallace (2003). Everett and Structure. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (1):87-105.
Hilary Greaves (2004). Understanding Deutsch's Probability in a Deterministic Universe. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3):423-456.
Hilary Putnam (2005). A Philosopher Looks at Quantum Mechanics (Again). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):615-634.
David Baker (2007). Measurement Outcomes and Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (1):153-169.

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Citations of this work BETA
Alastair Wilson (2012). Objective Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axs022.
Paul Tappenden (2011). Evidence and Uncertainty in Everett's Multiverse. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):99-123.
Wolfgang Schwarz (2015). Belief Update Across Fission. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):659-682.
Stephan Torre (2011). The Open Future. Philosophy Compass 6 (5):360-373.

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