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Summary Everettians understand quantum mechanics in a straightforwardly realist way, interpreting macroscopic superpositions as multiplicity rather than as indeterminateness. Instead of Schrodinger's cat being half-alive and half-dead, there are two cats - one alive, one dead. Modern versions of Everettianism rely heavily on the process of decoherence to explain how multiplicity arises; some previous advocates added an additional set of fundamental branching worlds to the quantum formalism.
Key works Wallace 2012 provides a comprehensive treatment of contemporary Everettian quantum mechanics. An anthology covering a wide variety of perspectives on the interpretation is Saunders et al 2010. Everett's original proposal is available in its full form in Everett 1973
Introductions Vaidman 2008
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  1. added 2018-10-07
    Teleportative Observers Versus Special Relativity Observers: Work in Progress.James Goetz - manuscript
    Various authors argue that special relativity implies eternalism. For example, special relativity observers are limited by the relativity of simultaneity and cannot detect a preferred universal chronology, which is an important premise for the Rietdijk–Putnam argument which implies eternalism. However, I introduce "teleportative observers" which cohere with wormhole theory based on general relativity. Teleportative observers do not teleport objects but use hypothetical teleportative sight to detect every event in every quantum system of the universe. The teleportative sight permits detection at (...)
  2. added 2018-06-19
    Quantum Mechanics Between Ontology and Epistemology.Florian J. Boge - forthcoming - Springer (European Studies in Philosophy of Science).
    This book explores the prospects of rivaling ontological and epistemic interpretations of quantum mechanics (QM). It concludes with a suggestion for how to interpret QM from an epistemological point of view and with a Kantian touch. It thus refines, extends, and combines existing approaches in a similar direction. -/- The author first looks at current, hotly debated ontological interpretations. These include hidden variables-approaches, Bohmian mechanics, collapse interpretations, and the many worlds interpretation. He demonstrates why none of these ontological interpretations can (...)
  3. added 2018-02-19
    Revised Proof of the Uniqueness Theorem for ‘No Collapse’ Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey Bub, Rob Clifton & Sheldon Goldstein - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 31 (1):95-98.
  4. added 2018-02-19
    A Uniqueness Theorem for ‘No Collapse’ Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey Bub & Rob Clifton - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27 (2):181-219.
    We prove a uniqueness theorem showing that, subject to certain natural constraints, all 'no collapse' interpretations of quantum mechanics can be uniquely characterized and reduced to the choice of a particular preferred observable as determine (definite, sharp). We show how certain versions of the modal interpretation, Bohm's 'causal' interpretation, Bohr's complementarity interpretation, and the orthodox (Dirac-von Neumann) interpretation without the projection postulate can be recovered from the theorem. Bohr's complementarity and Einstein's realism appear as two quite different proposals for selecting (...)
  5. added 2018-02-17
    The Origin of the Everettian Heresy.Stefano Osnaghi, Fábio Freitas & Olival Freire - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (2):97-123.
  6. added 2017-09-06
    Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty.A. Wilson - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):573-598.
    Darren Bradley has recently appealed to observation selection effects to argue that conditionalization presents no special problem for Everettian quantum mechanics, and to defend the ‘halfer’ answer to the puzzle of Sleeping Beauty. I assess Bradley’s arguments and conclude that while he is right about confirmation in Everettian quantum mechanics, he is wrong about Sleeping Beauty. This result is doubly good news for Everettians: they can endorse Bayesian confirmation theory without qualification, but they are not thereby compelled to adopt the (...)
  7. added 2017-05-28
    The Level I Multiverse Is Not the Same as the Level III Multiverse.Alan McKenzie - 2017 - NSPIRE-HEP, High Energy Physics (HEP) Database, CERN Online Publications, EUROPE.
    Anthony Aguirre and Max Tegmark have famously speculated that the Level I Multiverse is the same as the Level III Multiverse. By this, they mean that the parallel universes of the Level III Multiverse can be regarded as similar or identical copies of our own Hubble volume distributed throughout the whole of our (possibly infinite) bubble universe. However, we show that our bubble universe is in a single quantum eigenstate that extends to regions of space that are receding from each (...)
  8. added 2017-03-11
    Some Remarks on the Mathematical Structure of the Multiverse.Alan McKenzie - 2016 - PhilSci-Archive, University of Pittsburgh, USA.
    The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum entanglement experiments is at best incomplete, since the intermediate state induced by collapse of the wave function apparently depends upon the inertial rest frame in which the experiment is observed. While Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation avoids the issue of wave function collapse, it, too, is a casualty of the special theory of relativity. This requires all events in the universe, past, present and future, to be unique, as in the block-universe picture, which rules out Everett-style (...)
  9. added 2017-03-06
    Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Gordon Belot - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (3):305-313.
  10. added 2017-02-14
    The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics in Quantum Cosmology.Frank J. Tipler - 1986 - In Roger Penrose & C. J. Isham (eds.), Quantum Concepts in Space and Time. New York ;Oxford University Press. pp. 1--204.
  11. added 2017-02-13
    Jeffrey A. Barrett and Peter Byrne, Eds. The Everett Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Collected Works 1955–1980 with Commentary. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012. Pp. 392. $75.00. [REVIEW]Guido Bacciagaluppi - 2013 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (2):348-352.
  12. added 2017-02-12
    Can the Past Be Changed?Peter G. Grove - 2002 - Foundations of Physics 32 (4):567-587.
    The paper shows that the past, “history” in a non-technical sense, can be changed in quantum mechanics. The first part of the paper reviews Deutsch's analysis in his paper of 1991. It is demonstrated that Deutsch assumes the existence of a multiplicity of essentially classical worlds. Such a multiplicity of worlds would allow the past to be changed in classical mechanics. It is argued that the existence of multiple “classical” worlds is not required by quantum mechanics. It is then shown (...)
  13. added 2017-02-11
    Real World Interpretations of Quantum Theory.Adrian Kent - 2012 - Foundations of Physics 42 (3):421-435.
    I propose a new class of interpretations, real world interpretations, of the quantum theory of closed systems. These interpretations postulate a preferred factorization of Hilbert space and preferred projective measurements on one factor. They give a mathematical characterisation of the different possible worlds arising in an evolving closed quantum system, in which each possible world corresponds to a (generally mixed) evolving quantum state. In a realistic model, the states corresponding to different worlds should be expected to tend towards orthogonality as (...)
  14. added 2017-02-11
    An Introduction to Many Worlds in Quantum Computation.Clare Hewitt-Horsman - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (8):869-902.
    The interpretation of quantum mechanics is an area of increasing interest to many working physicists. In particular, interest has come from those involved in quantum computing and information theory, as there has always been a strong foundational element in this field. This paper introduces one interpretation of quantum mechanics, a modern ‘many-worlds’ theory, from the perspective of quantum computation. Reasons for seeking to interpret quantum mechanics are discussed, then the specific ‘neo-Everettian’ theory is introduced and its claim as the best (...)
  15. added 2017-02-11
    Locality in the Everett Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory.Mark A. Rubin - 2002 - Foundations of Physics 32 (10):1495-1523.
    Recently it has been shown that transformations of Heisenberg-picture operators are the causal mechanism which allows Bell-theorem-violating correlations at a distance to coexist with locality in the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. A calculation to first order in perturbation theory of the generation of EPRB entanglement in nonrelativistic fermionic field theory in the Heisenberg picture illustrates that the same mechanism leads to correlations without nonlocality in quantum field theory as well. An explicit transformation is given to a representation in which (...)
  16. added 2017-02-11
    What is Preferred About the Preferred Basis?Michael Dickson - 1995 - Foundations of Physics 25 (3):423-440.
    I introduce and review the most recent and most promising model of state vector reduction, that of Ghirardi, Rimini, Weber, and Pearle. This model requires the specification of a reduction basis. At least two questions therefore arise: Are there physical reasons to choose one basis rather than another? Does the choice made lead to any undesirable consequences? I argue that there arephysical reasons to choose from a certain class of reduction bases (a class which includes the choice made by the (...)
  17. added 2017-02-04
    Quantum Mechanics on Spacetime I: Spacetime State Realism.David Wallace & Christopher Gordon Timpson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):697-727.
    What ontology does realism about the quantum state suggest? The main extant view in contemporary philosophy of physics is wave-function realism . We elaborate the sense in which wave-function realism does provide an ontological picture, and defend it from certain objections that have been raised against it. However, there are good reasons to be dissatisfied with wave-function realism, as we go on to elaborate. This motivates the development of an opposing picture: what we call spacetime state realism , a view (...)
  18. added 2017-02-04
    Life in Configuration Space.Peter J. Lewis - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):713-729.
    This paper investigates the tenability of wavefunction realism, according to which the quantum mechanical wavefunction is not just a convenient predictive tool, but is a real entity figuring in physical explanations of our measurement results. An apparent difficulty with this position is that the wavefunction exists in a many-dimensional configuration space, whereas the world appears to us to be three-dimensional. I consider the arguments that have been given for and against the tenability of wavefunction realism, and note that both the (...)
  19. added 2017-01-27
    Does It Make Sense to Speak of Self-Locating Uncertainty in the Universal Wave Function? Remarks on Sebens and Carroll.Adrian Kent - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (2):211-217.
    Following a proposal of Vaidman The Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy, 2014) The probable and the improbable: understanding probability in physics, essays in memory of Itamar Pitowsky, 2011), Sebens and Carroll , have argued that in Everettian quantum theory, observers are uncertain, before they complete their observation, about which Everettian branch they are on. They argue further that this solves the problem of making sense of probabilities within Everettian quantum theory, even though the theory itself is deterministic. We note some problems (...)
  20. added 2017-01-27
    Global Probability for Possible Worlds.Ondrej Majer - unknown
    In the majority of papers on probability in the framework of possible worlds the existence of a global probability distribution is taken for granted. The aim of the article is to discuss the epistemic aspect of this assumption in the connection to the status assigned to possible worlds. Two questions are discussed in particular: the justification of the global probability distribution and compatibility of the global probability assumption with the structure of the universe of the possible worlds.
  21. added 2017-01-25
    ”Relative State' Formulation of Quantum Mechanics.Hugh Everett - 1957 - Reviews of Modern Physics 29:454--462.
  22. added 2017-01-24
    On Zurek's Derivation of the Born Rule.Maximilian Schlosshauer & Arthur Fine - 2005 - Foundations of Physics 35 (2):197-213.
  23. added 2017-01-24
    Relative Frequency and Probability in the Everett Interpretation of Heisenberg-Picture Quantum Mechanics.Mark A. Rubin - 2003 - Foundations of Physics 33 (3):379-405.
    The existence of probability in the sense of the frequency interpretation, i.e., probability as “long term relative frequency,” is shown to follow from the dynamics and the interpretational rules of Everett quantum mechanics in the Heisenberg picture. This proof is free of the difficulties encountered in applying to the Everett interpretation previous results regarding relative frequency and probability in quantum mechanics. The ontology of the Everett interpretation in the Heisenberg picture is also discussed.
  24. added 2017-01-24
    On a Possibility to Find Experimental Evidence for the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.R. Plaga - 1997 - Foundations of Physics 27 (4):559-577.
    The many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics predicts the formation of distinct parallel worlds as a result, of a quantum mechanical measurement. Communication among these parallel worlds would experimentally rule out alternatives to this interpretation. A possible procedure for “interworld” exchange of information and energy, using only state of the art quantum optical equipement, is described. A single ion is isolated from its environment in an ion trap. Then a quantum mechanical measurement with two discrete outcomes is performed on another system, (...)
  25. added 2017-01-23
    The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.B. DeWitt & N. Graham (eds.) - 1973 - Princeton UP.
  26. added 2017-01-22
    Interview with David Deutsch.Filiz Peach - 2000 - Philosophy Now 30:23-27.
  27. added 2017-01-21
    A Fair Deal for Everettians.David Papineau - unknown
    It is widely supposed that the Everettian account of quantum mechanics has difficulties with probability. In this paper I shall argue that those who argue against the Everettian interpretation on this basis are employing a double standard. It is certainly true that there are philosophical puzzles about probability within the Everettian theory. But I shall show that orthodox metaphysics has even worse problems with probability than Everettianism. From this perspective, orthodox metaphysicians who criticise Everettians about probability are a classic case (...)
  28. added 2017-01-21
    A Proof of Everett's Correlation Conjecture.Matthew J. Donald - unknown
    In his long 1957 paper, “The Theory of the Universal Wave Function”, Hugh Everett III made some significant preliminary steps towards the application and generalization of Shannon’s information theory to quantum mechanics. In the course of doing so, he conjectured that, for a given wavefunction on a compound space, the Schmidt decomposition maximises the correlation between subsystem bases. This is proved here.
  29. added 2017-01-20
    The Born Rule Dies.Don N. Page - unknown
    The Born rule may be stated mathematically as the rule that probabilities in quantum theory are expectation values of a complete orthogonal set of projection operators. This rule works for single laboratory settings in which the observer can distinguish all the different possible outcomes corresponding to the projection operators. However, theories of inflation suggest that the universe may be so large that any laboratory, no matter how precisely it is defined by its internal state, may exist in a large number (...)
  30. added 2017-01-20
    Qeauty and the Books: A Response to Lewis's Quantum Sleeping Beauty Problem.Daniel Peterson - 2011 - Synthese 181 (3):367-374.
    In his 2007 paper “Quantum Sleeping Beauty”, Peter Lewis poses a problem for the supporters’ of the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics appeal to subjective probability. Lewis’s argument hinges on parallels between the traditional “sleeping beauty” problem in epistemology and a quantum variant. These two cases, Lewis argues, advocate different treatments of credences even though they share important epistemic similarities, leading to a tension between the traditional solution to the sleeping beauty problem (typically called the “thirder” solution) and Everettian quantum (...)
  31. added 2017-01-20
    Has the Born Rule Been Proven?Jerry Finkelstein - unknown
    This note is a somewhat-lighthearted comment on a recent paper by David Wallace entitled "A formal proof of the Born rule from decision-theoretic assumptions".
  32. added 2017-01-20
    Probability, Self‐Location, and Quantum Branching.Peter J. Lewis - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):1009-1019.
    The main problem with the many‐worlds theory is that it is not clear how the notion of probability should be understood in a theory in which every possible outcome of a measurement actually occurs. In this paper, I argue for the following theses concerning the many‐worlds theory: If probability can be applied at all to measurement outcomes, it must function as a measure of an agent’s self‐location uncertainty. Such probabilities typically violate reflection. Many‐worlds branching does not have sufficient structure to (...)
  33. added 2017-01-19
    Book Notes. [REVIEW]Matthew Donald - unknown
    A clear, careful, thoughtful, critical survey introducing a wide range of ideas about many worlds and related interpretations. The book is particularly suited to those with some knowledge of quantum mechanics who prefer words to equations. At first sight, much of Barrett's concern is with theories which are clearly implausible, such as the “bare theory” or “Bell's Everett (?) theory”, but Barrett uses these theories skilfully as simple examples elucidating issues of wider significance. The book includes a detailed reading of (...)
  34. added 2017-01-19
    Quantum Sleeping Beauty.Peter J. Lewis - 2006 - Analysis 67 (1):59-65.
    The Sleeping Beauty paradox in epistemology and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics both raise problems concerning subjective probability assignments. Furthermore, there are striking parallels between the two cases; in both cases personal experience has a branching structure, and in both cases the agent loses herself among the branches. However, the treatment of probability is very different in the two cases, for no good reason that I can see. Suppose, then, that we adopt the same treatment of probability in each (...)
  35. added 2017-01-19
    Uncertainty and Probability for Branching Selves.Peter J. Lewis - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):1-14.
    Everettian accounts of quantum mechanics entail that people branch; every possible result of a measurement actually occurs, and I have one successor for each result. Is there room for probability in such an account? The prima facie answer is no; there are no ontic chances here, and no ignorance about what will happen. But since any adequate quantum mechanical theory must make probabilistic predictions, much recent philosophical labor has gone into trying to construct an account of probability for branching selves. (...)
  36. added 2017-01-17
    Deutsch on the Epistemic Problem in Everettian Quantum Theory.Darren Bradley - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 57:111-114.
  37. added 2017-01-17
    An Algorithmic Interpretation of Quantum Probability.Allan Frederick Randall - unknown
    The Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics has come under fire for inadequately dealing with the Born rule. Numerous attempts have been made to derive this rule from the perspective of observers within the quantum wavefunction. These are not really analytic proofs, but are rather attempts to derive the Born rule as a synthetic a priori necessity, given the nature of human observers. I show why existing attempts are unsuccessful or only partly successful, and postulate that Solomonoff's algorithmic approach to the (...)
  38. added 2017-01-17
    Multiworld Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and N. Goodman’s Many Worlds.S. V. Vlasova - 2012 - Liberal Arts in Russiaроссийский Гуманитарный Журналrossijskij Gumanitarnyj Žurnalrossijskij Gumanitaryj Zhurnalrossiiskii Gumanitarnyi Zhurnal 1 (1):23.
  39. added 2017-01-17
    Many Worlds: An Introduction.Simon Saunders - unknown
    This is a self-contained introduction to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. It is the introductory chapter of Many Worlds? Everett, quantum theory, and reality, S. Saunders, J. Barrett, A. Kent, and D. Wallace, Oxford University Press.
  40. added 2017-01-17
    The Quantum Mechanics of Minds and Worlds.Lon Becker & Jeffrey Alan Barrett - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):482.
  41. added 2017-01-16
    Quantum Worlds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - unknown
    Because of the conceptual difficulties it faces, quantum mechanics provides a salient example of how alternative metaphysical commitments may clarify our understanding of a physical theory and the explanations it provides. Here we will consider how postulating alternative quantum worlds in the context of Hugh Everett III's pure wave mechanics may serve to explain determinate measurement records and the standard quantum statistics. We will focus here on the properties of such worlds, then briefly consider other metaphysical options available for interpreting (...)
  42. added 2017-01-16
    Can Everettian Interpretation Survive Continuous Spectrum?Minseong Kim - unknown
    This paper raises a simple continuous spectrum issue in many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, or Everettian interpretation. I will assume that Everettian interpretation refers to many-worlds understanding based on quantum decoherence. The fact that some operators in quantum mechanics have continuous spectrum is used to propose a simple thought experiment based on probability theory. Then the paper concludes it is untenable to think of each possibility that wavefunction $\Psi \rangle$ gives probability as actual universe. While the argument that continuous spectrum (...)
  43. added 2017-01-16
    Hugh Everett III. The Everett Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Collected Works, 1955–1980, with Commentary. Edited by, Jeffrey A. Barrett and Peter Byrne. Xii + 392 Pp., Illus., Apps., Index. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012. $75. [REVIEW]Christoph Lehner - 2015 - Isis 106 (1):220-221.
  44. added 2017-01-15
    Multiplicity in Everett׳s Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Louis Marchildon - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):274-284.
  45. added 2017-01-15
    Everett's “Many-Worlds” Proposal.Brett Maynard Bevers - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (1):3-12.
    Hugh Everett III proposed that a quantum measurement can be treated as an interaction that correlates microscopic and macroscopic systems—particularly when the experimenter herself is included among those macroscopic systems. It has been difficult, however, to determine precisely what this proposal amounts to. Almost without exception, commentators have held that there are ambiguities in Everett’s theory of measurement that result from significant—even embarrassing—omissions. In the present paper, we resist the conclusion that Everett’s proposal is incomplete, and we develop a close (...)
  46. added 2017-01-15
    Everett and the Born Rule.Alastair I. M. Rae - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (3):243-250.
  47. added 2017-01-15
    Van Frasssen, Everett, and the Critique of the Copenhagem View of Measurement.Stefano Osnaghi - 2008 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 12 (2):155-176.
    Bas van Fraassen advocates a “Copenhagen variant” of the modal interpretation of quantum mechanics. However, he believes that the Copenhagen approach to measurement is not fully satisfactory, since it seems to rule out the possibility of providing a physical account of the observation process. This was also what John Wheeler had in mind when, in the mid-1950’s, he sponsored the “relative state” formulation proposed by his student Hugh Everett. Wheeler, who considered himself an orthodox Bohrian, tried to convince Bohr to (...)
  48. added 2017-01-15
    On the Everettian Epistemic Problem.Hilary Greaves - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):120-152.
    Recent work in the Everett interpretation has suggested that the problem of probability can be solved by understanding probability in terms of rationality. However, there are *two* problems relating to probability in Everett --- one practical, the other epistemic --- and the rationality-based program *directly* addresses only the practical problem. One might therefore worry that the problem of probability is only `half solved' by this approach. This paper aims to dispel that worry: a solution to the epistemic problem follows from (...)
  49. added 2017-01-15
    Measurement Outcomes and Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics.David J. Baker - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):153-169.
    The decision-theoretic account of probability in the Everett or many-worlds interpretation, advanced by David Deutsch and David Wallace, is shown to be circular. Talk of probability in Everett presumes the existence of a preferred basis to identify measurement outcomes for the probabilities to range over. But the existence of a preferred basis can only be established by the process of decoherence, which is itself probabilistic.
  50. added 2017-01-15
    Quantum Probability From Subjective Likelihood: Improving on Deutsch's Proof of the Probability Rule.David Wallace - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):311-332.
    I present a proof of the quantum probability rule from decision-theoretic assumptions, in the context of the Everett interpretation. The basic ideas behind the proof are those presented in Deutsch's recent proof of the probability rule, but the proof is simpler and proceeds from weaker decision-theoretic assumptions. This makes it easier to discuss the conceptual ideas involved in the proof, and to show that they are defensible.
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