David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 114 (3):373-404 (1998)
A variety of ideas arising in decoherence theory, and in the ongoing debate over Everett's relative-state theory, can be linked to issues in relativity theory and the philosophy of time, specifically the relational theory of tense and of identity over time. These have been systematically presented in companion papers (Saunders 1995; 1996a); in what follows we shall consider the same circle of ideas, but specifically in relation to the interpretation of probability, and its identification with relations in the Hilbert Space norm. The familiar objection that Everett's approach yields probabilities different from quantum mechanics is easily dealt with. The more fundamental question is how to interpret these probabilities consistent with the relational theory of change, and the relational theory of identity over time. I shall show that the relational theory needs nothing more than the physical, minimal criterion of identity as defined by Everett's theory, and that this can be transparently interpreted in terms of the ordinary notion of the chance occurrence of an event, as witnessed in the present. It is in this sense that the theory has empirical content.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Metaphysics Philosophy of Language|
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Citations of this work BETA
Alastair Wilson (forthcoming). The Quantum Doomsday Argument. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv035.
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.
Simon Saunders & D. Wallace (2008). Branching and Uncertainty. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):293-305.
David Wallace (2007). Quantum Probability From Subjective Likelihood: Improving on Deutsch's Proof of the Probability Rule. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):311-332.
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