David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 188 (1):67-84 (2012)
In this paper I assess the prospects for combining contemporary Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM) with branching-time semantics in the tradition of Kripke, Prior, Thomason and Belnap. I begin by outlining the salient features of ‘decoherence-based’ EQM, and of the ‘consistent histories’ formalism that is particularly apt for conceptual discussions in EQM. This formalism permits of both ‘branching worlds’ and ‘parallel worlds’ interpretations; the metaphysics of EQM is in this sense underdetermined by the physics. A prominent argument due to Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986 ) supports the non-branching interpretation. Belnap et al. (Facing the Future: Agents and Choices in Our Indeterministic World, 2001 ) refer to Lewis’ argument as the ‘Assertion problem’, and propose a pragmatic response to it. I argue that their response is unattractively ad hoc and complex, and that it prevents an Everettian who adopts branching-time semantics from making clear sense of objective probability. The upshot is that Everettians are better off without branching-time semantics. I conclude by discussing and rejecting an alternative possible motivation for branching time.
|Keywords||Everett Quantum Branching Semantics Metaphysics Time Many worlds Lewis Belnap Divergence|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
David K. Lewis (1986/2001). On the Plurality of Worlds. Blackwell Publishers.
Nuel D. Belnap (2001). Facing the Future: Agents and Choices in Our Indeterminist World. Oxford University Press on Demand.
Paul M. Churchland (1981). Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.
Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.) (2010). Many Worlds? Everett, Quantum Theory, and Reality. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Wolfgang Schwarz (2015). Belief Update Across Fission. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):659-682.
Alastair Wilson (forthcoming). The Quantum Doomsday Argument. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv035.
Similar books and articles
A. Wilson (2012). Objective Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):709-737.
Peter J. Lewis (2007). Uncertainty and Probability for Branching Selves. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (1):1-14.
Simon Saunders & D. Wallace (2008). Branching and Uncertainty. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):293-305.
Toby Handfield (2012). A Philosophical Guide to Chance: Physical Probability. Cambridge University Press.
Hilary Greaves & Wayne C. Myrvold (2010). Everett and Evidence. In Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds? Everett, Quantum Theory, and Reality. Oxford University Press
Alberto Zanardo (2006). Quantification Over Sets of Possible Worlds in Branching-Time Semantics. Studia Logica 82 (3):379 - 400.
Matt Farr (2012). On A- and B-Theoretic Elements of Branching Spacetimes. Synthese 188 (1):85-116.
Jiri Benovsky (2013). Branching and (in)Determinism. Philosophical Papers 42 (2):151-173.
Manolo Martínez (2011). Travelling in Branching Time. Disputatio 4 (31):59-75.
Thomas Müller (2012). Branching in the Landscape of Possibilities. Synthese 188 (1):41-65.
Added to index2011-12-06
Total downloads123 ( #30,452 of 1,797,096 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #39,776 of 1,797,096 )
How can I increase my downloads?