Everettian quantum mechanics without branching time

Synthese 188 (1):67-84 (2012)
Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,724
External links
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

View all 24 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-12-06

Total downloads

85 ( #14,359 of 1,098,598 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #33,241 of 1,098,598 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.