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  1. To Be a Realist About Quantum Theory.Hans Halvorson - 2019 - In Olimpia Lombardi (ed.), Quantum Worlds: Perspectives on the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.
    I look at the distinction between between realist and antirealist views of the quantum state. I argue that this binary classification should be reconceived as a continuum of different views about which properties of the quantum state are representationally significant. What's more, the extreme cases -- all or none --- are simply absurd, and should be rejected by all parties. In other words, no sane person should advocate extreme realism or antirealism about the quantum state. And if we focus on (...)
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  • Self-Locating Uncertainty and the Origin of Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics.Charles T. Sebens & Sean M. Carroll - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axw004.
    A longstanding issue in attempts to understand the Everett (Many-Worlds) approach to quantum mechanics is the origin of the Born rule: why is the probability given by the square of the amplitude? Following Vaidman, we note that observers are in a position of self-locating uncertainty during the period between the branches of the wave function splitting via decoherence and the observer registering the outcome of the measurement. In this period it is tempting to regard each branch as equiprobable, but we (...)
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  • Disentangling Nature's Joints.Tuomas Tahko - 2017 - In William Simpson, Robert Koons & Nicholas Teh (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science. Routledge. pp. 147-166.
    Can the neo-Aristotelian uphold a pluralist substance ontology while taking seriously the recent arguments in favour of monism based on quantum holism and other arguments from quantum mechanics? In this article, Jonathan Schaffer’s priority monism will be the main target. It will be argued that the case from quantum mechanics in favour of priority monism does face some challenges. Moreover, if the neo-Aristotelian is willing to consider alternative ways to understand ‘substance’, there may yet be hope for a pluralist substance (...)
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  • Quantum Anthropology: Man, Cultures, and Groups in a Quantum Perspective.Radek Trnka & Radmila Lorencova - 2016 - Charles University Karolinum Press.
    This philosophical anthropology tries to explore the basic categories of man’s being in the worlds using a special quantum meta-ontology that is introduced in the book. Quantum understanding of space and time, consciousness, or empirical/nonempirical reality elicits new questions relating to philosophical concerns such as subjectivity, free will, mind, perception, experience, dialectic, or agency. The authors have developed an inspiring theoretical framework transcending the boundaries of particular disciplines, e.g. quantum philosophy, metaphysics of consciousness, philosophy of mind, phenomenology of space and (...)
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  • O problema ontológico da consciência na mecânica quântica.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2015 - Dissertation, Universidade Estadual de Maringá
    Quantum mechanics is an area of Physics that deals with subatomic phenomena. It can be extracted from a vision of the physical world which contradicts many aspects of our everyday perception, prompting many philosophical debates and admitting different interpretations. Among the wide range of problems within the interpretation of quantum theory, there is the measurement problem. Some philosophical aspects of the problems concerning the notion of “measurement” in quantum mechanics are analyzed in order to identify how the problem arises in (...)
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  • The Quantum Epoché.Paavo Pylkkänen - 2015 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 119:332-340.
    The theme of phenomenology and quantum physics is here tackled by examining some basic interpretational issues in quantum physics. One key issue in quantum theory from the very beginning has been whether it is possible to provide a quantum ontology of particles in motion in the same way as in classical physics, or whether we are restricted to stay within a more limited view of quantum systems, in terms of complementary but mutually exclusive phenomena. In phenomenological terms we could describe (...)
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  • Towards a Formal Ontology of Information. Selected Ideas of K. Turek.Roman Krzanowski - 2016 - Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce 61:23-52.
    There are many ontologies of the world or of specific phenomena such as time, matter, space, and quantum mechanics1. However, ontologies of information are rather rare. One of the reasons behind this is that information is most frequently associated with communication and computing, and not with ‘the furniture of the world’. But what would be the nature of an ontology of information? For it to be of significant import it should be amenable to formalization in a logico-grammatical formalism. A candidate (...)
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  • Evidence and Uncertainty in Everett's Multiverse.Paul Tappenden - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):99-123.
    How does it come about then, that great scientists such as Einstein, Schrödinger and De Broglie are nevertheless dissatisfied with the situation? Of course, all these objections are levelled not against the correctness of the formulae, but against their interpretation. [...] The lesson to be learned from what I have told of the origin of quantum mechanics is that probable refinements of mathematical methods will not suffice to produce a satisfactory theory, but that somewhere in our doctrine is hidden a (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • On the Faithful Interpretation of Pure Wave Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):693-709.
    Given Hugh Everett III's understanding of the proper cognitive status of physical theories, his relative-state formulation of pure wave mechanics arguably qualifies as an empirically acceptable physical theory. The argument turns on the precise nature of the relationship that Everett requires between the empirical substructure of an empirically faithful physical theory and experience. On this view, Everett provides a weak resolution to both the determinate record and the probability problems encountered by pure wave mechanics, and does so in a way (...)
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  • Everettian Quantum Mechanics and Physical Probability: Against the Principle of “State Supervenience”.Lina Jansson - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:45-53.
    Everettian quantum mechanics faces the challenge of how to make sense of probability and probabilistic reasoning in a setting where there is typically no unique outcome of measurements. Wallace has built on a proof by Deutsch to argue that a notion of probability can be recovered in the many worlds setting. In particular, Wallace argues that a rational agent has to assign probabilities in accordance with the Born rule. This argument relies on a rationality constraint that Wallace calls state supervenience. (...)
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  • A Consciousness-Based Quantum Objective Collapse Model.Elias Okon & Miguel Ángel Sebastián - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Ever since the early days of quantum mechanics it has been suggested that consciousness could be linked to the collapse of the wave function. However, no detailed account of such an interplay is usually provided. In this paper we present an objective collapse model where the collapse operator depends on integrated information, which has been argued to measure consciousness. By doing so, we construct an empirically adequate scheme in which superpositions of conscious states are dynamically suppressed. Unlike other proposals in (...)
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  • Assessing the Montevideo Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Jeremy Butterfield - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part A):75-85.
    This paper gives a philosophical assessment of the Montevideo interpretation of quantum theory, advocated by Gambini, Pullin and co-authors. This interpretation has the merit of linking its proposal about how to solve the measurement problem to the search for quantum gravity: namely by suggesting that quantum gravity makes for fundamental limitations on the accuracy of clocks, which imply a type of decoherence that “collapses the wave-packet”. I begin by sketching the topics of decoherence, and quantum clocks, on which the interpretation (...)
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  • A Scientific Metaphysical Naturalisation of Information.Bruce Long - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    The objective of this thesis is to present a naturalised metaphysics of information, or to naturalise information, by way of deploying a scientific metaphysics according to which contingency is privileged and a-priori conceptual analysis is excluded (or at least greatly diminished) in favour of contingent and defeasible metaphysics. The ontology of information is established according to the premises and mandate of the scientific metaphysics by inference to the best explanation, and in accordance with the idea that the primacy of physics (...)
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  • Dissolving the Measurement Problem is Not an Option for the Realist.Matthias Egg - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66:62-68.
    This paper critically assesses the proposal that scientific realists do not need to search for a solution of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, but should instead dismiss the problem as ill-posed. James Ladyman and Don Ross have sought to support this proposal with arguments drawn from their naturalized metaphysics and from a Bohr-inspired approach to quantum mechanics. I show that the first class of arguments is unsuccessful, because formulating the measurement problem does not depend on the metaphysical commitments which (...)
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  • Ontic Structural Realism and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Michael Esfeld - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):19-32.
    This paper argues that ontic structural realism (OSR) faces a dilemma: either it remains on the general level of realism with respect to the structure of a given theory, but then it is, like epistemic structural realism, only a partial realism; or it is a complete realism, but then it has to answer the question how the structure of a given theory is implemented, instantiated or realized and thus has to argue for a particular interpretation of the theory in question. (...)
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  • Literal Versus Careful Interpretations of Scientific Theories: The Vacuum Approach to the Problem of Motion in General Relativity.Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1202-1214.
    The problem of motion in general relativity is about how exactly the gravitational field equations, the Einstein equations, are related to the equations of motion of material bodies subject to gravitational fields. This article compares two approaches to derive the geodesic motion of matter from the field equations: the ‘T approach’ and the ‘vacuum approach’. The latter approach has been dismissed by philosophers of physics because it apparently represents material bodies by singularities. I argue that a careful interpretation of the (...)
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  • Everettian Quantum Mechanics and the Metaphysics of Modality.Jack Harding - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  • Quantum Mechanics in a New Light.Ulrich J. Mohrhoff - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (3):517-537.
    Although the present paper looks upon the formal apparatus of quantum mechanics as a calculus of correlations, it goes beyond a purely operationalist interpretation. Having established the consistency of the correlations with the existence of their correlata, and having justified the distinction between a domain in which outcome-indicating events occur and a domain whose properties only exist if their existence is indicated by such events, it explains the difference between the two domains as essentially the difference between the manifested world (...)
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  • Four Tails Problems for Dynamical Collapse Theories.Kelvin J. McQueen - 2015 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:10-18.
    The primary quantum mechanical equation of motion entails that measurements typically do not have determinate outcomes, but result in superpositions of all possible outcomes. Dynamical collapse theories (e.g. GRW) supplement this equation with a stochastic Gaussian collapse function, intended to collapse the superposition of outcomes into one outcome. But the Gaussian collapses are imperfect in a way that leaves the superpositions intact. This is the tails problem. There are several ways of making this problem more precise. But many authors dismiss (...)
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  • How Quantum Theory Helps Us Explain.Richard Healey - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1):1-43.
    I offer an account of how the quantum theory we have helps us explain the enormous variety of phenomena it is generally taken to explain. The account depends on what I have elsewhere called a pragmatist interpretation of the theory. This rejects views according to which a quantum state describes or represents a physical system, holding instead that it functions as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents like us on the content and appropriate degree of belief about (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • From Quantum Gravity to Classical Phenomena.Michael Esfeld & Antonio Vassallo - 2013 - In Tilman Sauer & Adrian Wüthrich (eds.), New Vistas on Old Problems. Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge.
    Quantum gravity is supposed to be the most fundamental theory, including a quantum theory of the metrical field (spacetime). However, it is not clear how a quantum theory of gravity could account for classical phenomena, including notably measurement outcomes. But all the evidence that we have for a physical theory is based on measurement outcomes. We consider this problem in the framework of canonical quantum gravity, pointing out a dilemma: all the available accounts that admit classical phenomena presuppose entities with (...)
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  • Everettian Quantum Mechanics Without Branching Time.Alastair Wilson - 2012 - Synthese 188 (1):67-84.
    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 (...)
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  • The Human Story Behind Everettian Quantum Mechanics. [REVIEW]Alastair Wilson - 2012 - Metascience 21 (1):143-146.
    The human story behind Everettian quantum mechanics Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9510-4 Authors Alastair Wilson, University College, Oxford, OX1 4BH UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  • A Physics-Based Metaphysics is a Metaphysics-Based Metaphysics.Chris Fields - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (2):131-148.
    The common practice of advancing arguments based on current physics in support of metaphysical conclusions has been criticized on the grounds that current physics may well be wrong. A further criticism is leveled here: current physics itself depends on metaphysical assumptions, so arguing from current physics is in fact arguing from yet more metaphysics. It is shown that the metaphysical assumptions underlying current physics are often deeply embedded in the formalism in which theories are presented, and hence impossible to dismiss (...)
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  • The Quantum Mechanics of Being and Its Manifestation.Ulrich Mohrhoff - 2016 - Cosmology 24.
    How can quantum mechanics be (i) the fundamental theoretical framework of contemporary physics and (ii) a probability calculus that presupposes the events to which, and on the basis of which, it assigns probabilities? The question is answered without invoking knowledge or observers, by interpreting the necessary distinction between two kinds of physical quantities - unconditionally definite quantities and quantities that have values only if they are measured - as a distinction between the manifested world and its manifestation.(The arXived version contains (...)
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  • How Quantum Theory Helps Us Explain.Richard Healey - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axt031.
    I offer an account of how the quantum theory we have helps us explain so much. The account depends on a pragmatist interpretation of the theory: this takes a quantum state to serve as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents on the content and appropriate degree of belief about matters concerning which they are currently inevitably ignorant. The general account of how to use quantum states and probabilities to explain otherwise puzzling regularities is then illustrated by showing (...)
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  • Events and the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):369-378.
    In the first part of the paper I argue that an ontology of events is precise, flexible and general enough so as to cover the three main alternative formulations of quantum mechanics as well as theories advocating an antirealistic view of the wave function. Since these formulations advocate a primitive ontology of entities living in four-dimensional spacetime, they are good candidates to connect that quantum image with the manifest image of the world. However, to the extent that some form of (...)
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  • On Time Chez Dummett.Jeremy Butterfield - unknown
    I discuss three connections between Dummett's writings about time and philosophical aspects of physics. The first connection arises from remarks of Dummett's about the different relations of observation to time and to space. The main point is uncontroversial and applies equally to classical and quantum physics. It concerns the fact that perceptual processing is so rapid, compared with the typical time-scale on which macroscopic objects change their observable properties, that it engenders the idea of a `common now', spread across space. (...)
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  • The World as Wavefunction.Paul Tappenden - unknown
    Murray Gell-Mann and James Hartle have made an original proposal for a version of decoherent histories quantum mechanics which is specifically tailored so as not to imply the emergence of multiple quasi-classical worlds. I argue that there is an explanatory gap in the proposal but that there remains an important insight which might be used to tackle what can be seen as an outstanding problem for Hugh Everett III’s “relative state” interpretation of quantum mechanics, if it is understood as giving (...)
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  • On Time in Quantum Physics.Jeremy Butterfield - unknown
    First, I briefly review the different conceptions of time held by three rival interpretations of quantum theory: the collapse of the wave-packet, the pilot-wave interpretation, and the Everett interpretation. Then I turn to a much less controversial task: to expound the recent understanding of the time-energy uncertainty principle, and indeed of uncertainty principles in general, that has been established by such authors as Busch, Hilgevoord and Uffink. Although this may at first seem a narrow topic, I point out connections to (...)
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  • Interpreting Quantum Mechanics in Terms of Random Discontinuous Motion of Particles.Shan Gao - unknown
    This thesis is an attempt to reconstruct the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics. First, we argue that the wave function in quantum mechanics is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations in space. Next, we show that the linear non-relativistic evolution of the wave function of an isolated system obeys the free Schrödinger equation due to the requirements of spacetime translation (...)
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  • Why Everettians Should Appreciate the Transactional Interpretation.Ruth Kastner - unknown
    The attractive feature of the Everett approach is its admirable spirit of approaching the quantum puzzle with a Zen-like "beginner’s mind" in order to try to envision what the pure formalism might be saying about quantum reality, even if that journey leads to a strange place. It is argued that the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics (TI), appropriately interpreted, shares the same motivation and achieves much more, with far fewer conceptual perplexities, by taking into account heretofore overlooked features of the (...)
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  • Mahdollisuus.Ilkka Niiniluoto, Tuomas Tahko & Teemu Toppinen (eds.) - 2016 - Helsinki: Philosophical Society of Finland.
    Proceedings of the 2016 "one word" colloquium of the The Philosophical Society of Finland. The word was "Possibility".
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  • Czy możemy wykazać istnienie zjawisk całkowicie przypadkowych?Marek Kuś - 2018 - Philosophical Problems in Science 65:111-143.
    I show how classical and quantum physics approach the problem of randomness and probability. Contrary to popular opinions, neither we can prove that classical mechanics is a deterministic theory, nor that quantum mechanics is a nondeterministic one. In other words it is not possible to show that randomness in classical mechanics has a purely epistemic character and that of quantum mechanics an ontic one. Nevertheless, recent developments of quantum theory and increasing experimental possibilities to check its predictions call for returning (...)
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  • Lessons of Bell's Theorem: Nonlocality, Yes; Action at a Distance, Not Necessarily.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2016 - In Shan Gao Mary Bell (ed.), Quantum Nonlocality and Reality: 50 Years of Bell's Theorem. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 238-260.
    Fifty years after the publication of Bell's theorem, there remains some controversy regarding what the theorem is telling us about quantum mechanics, and what the experimental violations of Bell inequalities are telling us about the world. This chapter represents my best attempt to be clear about what I think the lessons are. In brief: there is some sort of nonlocality inherent in any quantum theory, and, moreover, in any theory that reproduces, even approximately, the quantum probabilities for the outcomes of (...)
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  • Essay Review: David Wallace, The Emergent Multiverse.Guido Bacciagaluppi & Jenann Ismael - unknown
    We review and discuss the recent monograph by David Wallace on Everettian Quantum Mechanics. This book is a high point of two decades of work on Everett in both physics and philosophy. It is also a beautiful and welcome exemplar of a modern way of doing metaphysics. We discuss certain aspects more critically, and take the opportunity to sketch an alternative pragmatist approach to probability in Everett, to be fully developed elsewhere.
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  • The Meaning of the Wave Function: In Search of the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.Shan Gao - unknown
    The meaning of the wave function has been a hot topic of debate since the early days of quantum mechanics. Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in this long-standing question. Is the wave function ontic, directly representing a state of reality, or epistemic, merely representing a state of knowledge, or something else? If the wave function is not ontic, then what, if any, is the underlying state of reality? If the wave function is indeed ontic, then exactly what physical (...)
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  • Quantum Theory, Active Information and the Mind-Matter Problem.Paavo Pylkkänen - 2016 - In Contextuality from Quantum Physics to Psychology. Singapore: World Scientific. pp. 325-334.
    Bohm and Hiley suggest that a certain new type of active information plays a key objective role in quantum processes. This paper discusses the implications of this suggestion to our understanding of the relation between the mental and the physical aspects of reality.
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  • Philosophy of Quantum Probability - An Empiricist Study of its Formalism and Logic.Ronnie Hermens - unknown
    The use of probability theory is widespread in our daily life as well as in scientific theories. In virtually all cases, calculations can be carried out within the framework of classical probability theory. A special exception is given by quantum mechanics, which gives rise to a new probability theory: quantum probability theory. This dissertation deals with the question of how this formalism can be understood from a philosophical and physical perspective. The dissertation is divided into three parts. In the first (...)
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  • Branching in the Landscape of Possibilities.Thomas Müller - 2012 - Synthese 188 (1):41-65.
    The metaphor of a branching tree of future possibilities has a number of important philosophical and logical uses. In this paper we trace this metaphor through some of its uses and argue that the metaphor works the same way in physics as in philosophy. We then give an overview of formal systems for branching possibilities, viz., branching time and (briefly) branching space-times. In a next step we describe a number of different notions of possibility, thereby sketching a landscape of possibilities. (...)
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  • Pure Wave Mechanics and the Very Idea of Empirical Adequacy.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3071-3104.
    Hugh Everett III proposed his relative-state formulation of pure wave mechanics as a solution to the quantum measurement problem. He sought to address the theory’s determinate record and probability problems by showing that, while counterintuitive, pure wave mechanics was nevertheless empirically faithful and hence empirical acceptable. We will consider what Everett meant by empirical faithfulness. The suggestion will be that empirical faithfulness is well understood as a weak variety of empirical adequacy. The thought is that the very idea of empirical (...)
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