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  1. How Does an Entity Acquire Identity? Reassembling Relativistic Physics with Actor-Network Theory.Mariano Croce & Emilia Margoni - 2022 - Foundations of Science 27 (3):1055-1071.
    What is it that determines the identity of an entity? Processualism is a theoretical perspective that offers a startling answer to this question. The identity of an entity—whether human or nonhuman, animate or inanimate—depends on the set of relations in which this entity is located. And as the sets of relations are several, so are the identities that an entity can take. This article discusses this conclusion by integrating processual accounts from different fields of inquiry, such as relativistic physics and (...)
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  • Analysis and Interpretation in the Exact Sciences: Essays in Honour of William Demopoulos.Melanie Frappier, Derek Brown & Robert DiSalle (eds.) - 2011 - Dordrecht and London: Springer.
    The essays in this volume concern the points of intersection between analytic philosophy and the philosophy of the exact sciences. More precisely, it concern connections between knowledge in mathematics and the exact sciences, on the one hand, and the conceptual foundations of knowledge in general. Its guiding idea is that, in contemporary philosophy of science, there are profound problems of theoretical interpretation-- problems that transcend both the methodological concerns of general philosophy of science, and the technical concerns of philosophers of (...)
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  • Obliterating Thingness: An Introduction to the “What” and the “So What” of Quantum Physics.Kathryn Schaffer & Gabriela Barreto Lemos - 2019 - Foundations of Science 26 (1):7-26.
    This essay provides a short introduction to the ideas and potential implications of quantum physics for scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Quantum-inspired ideas pepper current discourse in all of these fields, in ways that range from playful metaphors to sweeping ontological claims. We explain several of the most important concepts at the core of quantum theory, carefully delineating the scope and bounds of currently established science, in order to aid the evaluation of such claims. In particular, we (...)
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  • Quantum Anthropology: Man, Cultures, and Groups in a Quantum Perspective.Radek Trnka & Radmila Lorencová - 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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  • Quantum Worlds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2016 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 20 (1):45-60.
    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 on the properties of such worlds, then briefly consider other metaphysical options available for interpreting pure (...)
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  • A Consciousness-Based Quantum Objective Collapse Model.Elias Okon & Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3947-3967.
    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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  • Around the Tree: Semantic and Metaphysical Issues Concerning Branching and the Open Future.Fabrice Correia & Andrea Iacona (eds.) - 2013 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    Over the past few years, the tree model of time has been widely employed to deal with issues concerning the semantics of tensed discourse. The thought that has motivated its adoption is that the most plausible way to make sense of indeterminism is to conceive of future possibilities as branches that depart from a common trunk, constituted by the past and the present. However, the thought still needs to be further articulated and defended, and several important questions remain open, such (...)
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  • Bohmian Mechanics.Sheldon Goldstein - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Bohmian mechanics, which is also called the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the pilot-wave model, and the causal interpretation of quantum mechanics, is a version of quantum theory discovered by Louis de Broglie in 1927 and rediscovered by David Bohm in 1952. It is the simplest example of what is often called a hidden variables interpretation of quantum mechanics. In Bohmian mechanics a system of particles is described in part by its wave function, evolving, as usual, according to Schrödinger's equation. However, the (...)
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  • Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Lev Vaidman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) is an approach to quantum mechanics according to which, in addition to the world we are aware of directly, there are many other similar worlds which exist in parallel at the same space and time. The existence of the other worlds makes it possible to remove randomness and action at a distance from quantum theory and thus from all physics.
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  • The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics.Guido Bacciagaluppi - 2003 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Interference phenomena are a well-known and crucial feature of quantum mechanics, the two-slit experiment providing a standard example. There are situations, however, in which interference effects are (artificially or spontaneously) suppressed. We shall need to make precise what this means, but the theory of decoherence is the study of (spontaneous) interactions between a system and its environment that lead to such suppression of interference. This study includes detailed modelling of system-environment interactions, derivation of equations (‘master equations’) for the (reduced) state (...)
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  • Worlds in a Stochastic Universe: On the Emergence of World Histories in Minimal Bohmian Mechanics.Alexander Ehmann - 2020 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    This thesis develops a detailed account of the emergence of for all practical purposes continuous, quasi-classical world histories from the discontinuous, stochastic micro dynamics of Minimal Bohmian Mechanics (MBM). MBM is a non-relativistic quantum theory. It results from excising the guiding equation from standard Bohmian Mechanics (BM) and reinterpreting the quantum equilibrium hypothesis as a stochastic guidance law for the random actualization of configurations of Bohmian particles. On MBM, there are no continuous trajectories linking up individual configurations. Instead, individual configurations (...)
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  • La réalité face à la théorie quantique.Louis Marchildon - 2020 - Mεtascience: Discours Général Scientifique 1:271-292.
    Tous les chercheurs intéressés aux fondements de la théorie quantique s’entendent sur le fait que celle-ci a profondément modifié notre conception de la réalité. Là s’arrête, toutefois, le consensus. Le formalisme de la théorie, non problématique, donne lieu à plusieurs interprétations très différentes, qui ont chacune des conséquences sur la notion de réalité. Cet article analyse comment l’interprétation de Copenhague, l’effondrement du vecteur d’état de von Neumann, l’onde pilote de Bohm et de Broglie et les mondes multiples d’Everett modifient, chacun (...)
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  • Taking Particle Physics Seriously: A Critique of the Algebraic Approach to Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):116-125.
    I argue against the currently prevalent view that algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) is the correct framework for philosophy of quantum field theory and that “conventional” quantum field theory (CQFT), of the sort used in mainstream particle physics, is not suitable for foundational study. In doing so, I defend that position that AQFT and CQFT should be understood as rival programs to resolve the mathematical and physical pathologies of renormalization theory, and that CQFT has succeeded in this task and AQFT (...)
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  • Decoherent Histories of Spin Networks.David P. B. Schroeren - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (3):310-328.
    The decoherent histories formalism, developed by Griffiths, Gell-Mann, and Hartle (in Phys. Rev. A 76:022104, 2007; arXiv:1106.0767v3 [quant-ph], 2011; Consistent Quantum Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2003; arXiv:gr-qc/9304006v2, 1992) is a general framework in which to formulate a timeless, ‘generalised’ quantum theory and extract predictions from it. Recent advances in spin foam models allow for loop gravity to be cast in this framework. In this paper, I propose a decoherence functional for loop gravity and interpret existing results (Bianchi et al. in (...)
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  • Is Quantum Indeterminism Real? Theological Implications.Claudia E. Vanney - 2015 - Zygon 50 (3):736-756.
    Quantum mechanics studies physical phenomena on a microscopic scale. These phenomena are far beyond the reach of our observation, and the connection between QM's mathematical formalism and the experimental results is very indirect. Furthermore, quantum indeterminism defies common sense. Microphysical experiments have shown that, according to the empirical context, electrons and quanta of light behave as waves and other times as particles, even though it is impossible to design an experiment that manifests both behaviors at the same time. Unlike Newtonian (...)
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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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  • Fundamental Physical Ontologies and the Constraint of Empirical Coherence: A Defense of Wave Function Realism.Alyssa Ney - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3105-3124.
    This paper defends wave function realism against the charge that the view is empirically incoherent because our evidence for quantum theory involves facts about objects in three-dimensional space or space-time . It also criticizes previous attempts to defend wave function realism against this charge by claiming that the wave function is capable of grounding local beables as elements of a derivative ontology.
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  • Exploring Philosophical Implications of Quantum Decoherence.Elise M. Crull - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (9):875-885.
    Quantum decoherence is receiving a great deal of attention today not only in theoretical and experimental physics but also in branches of science as diverse as molecular biology, biochemistry, and even neuropsychology. It is no surprise that it is also beginning to appear in various philosophical debates concerning the fundamental structure of the world. The purpose of this article is primarily to acquaint non-specialists with quantum decoherence and clarify related concepts, and secondly to sketch its possible implications – independent of (...)
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  • Strong Determinism.Eddy Keming Chen - manuscript
    A strongly deterministic theory of physics is one that permits exactly one possible history of the universe. In the words of Penrose (1989), "it is not just a matter of the future being determined by the past; the entire history of the universe is fixed, according to some precise mathematical scheme, for all time.” Such an extraordinary feature may appear unattainable in any realistic and simple theory of physics. In this paper, I propose a definition of strong determinism and contrast (...)
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  • Indeterminism in Physics and Intuitionistic Mathematics.Nicolas Gisin - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13345-13371.
    Most physics theories are deterministic, with the notable exception of quantum mechanics which, however, comes plagued by the so-called measurement problem. This state of affairs might well be due to the inability of standard mathematics to “speak” of indeterminism, its inability to present us a worldview in which new information is created as time passes. In such a case, scientific determinism would only be an illusion due to the timeless mathematical language scientists use. To investigate this possibility it is necessary (...)
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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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  • Quantum Mechanics as Classical Physics.Charles T. Sebens - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):266-291.
    Here I explore a novel no-collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics that combines aspects of two familiar and well-developed alternatives, Bohmian mechanics and the many-worlds interpretation. Despite reproducing the empirical predictions of quantum mechanics, the theory looks surprisingly classical. All there is at the fundamental level are particles interacting via Newtonian forces. There is no wave function. However, there are many worlds.
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  • The Everett Interpretation: Probability.Simon Saunders - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox & Alistair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics.
    The Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics divides naturally into two parts: first, the interpretation of the structure of the quantum state, in terms of branching, and second, the interpretation of this branching structure in terms of probability. This is the second of two reviews of the Everett interpretation, and focuses on probability. Branching processes are identified as chance processes, and the squares of branch amplitudes are chances. Since branching is emergent, physical probability is emergent as well.
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  • Essays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Eddy Keming Chen - 2019 - Dissertation, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
    What is the proper metaphysics of quantum mechanics? In this dissertation, I approach the question from three different but related angles. First, I suggest that the quantum state can be understood intrinsically as relations holding among regions in ordinary space-time, from which we can recover the wave function uniquely up to an equivalence class (by representation and uniqueness theorems). The intrinsic account eliminates certain conventional elements (e.g. overall phase) in the representation of the quantum state. It also dispenses with first-order (...)
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  • Introduction: Space–Time and the Wave Function.Albert Solé & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3055-3070.
  • THE TRANSCENDENTAL METAPHYSIC OF G.F. STOUT: HIS DEFENCE AND ELABORATION OF TROPE THEORY.Fraser Macbride - 2014 - In A. Reboul (ed.), Mind, Value and Metaphysics: Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan. Springer. pp. 141-58.
    G. F. Stout is famous as an early twentieth century proselyte for abstract particulars, or tropes as they are now often called. He advanced his version of trope theory to avoid the excesses of nominalism on the one hand and realism on the other. But his arguments for tropes have been widely misconceived as metaphysical, e.g. by Armstrong. In this paper, I argue that Stout’s fundamental arguments for tropes were ideological and epistemological rather than metaphysical. He moulded his scheme to (...)
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  • Timeless Truth.Andrea Iacona - 2013 - In Fabrice Correia & Andrea Iacona (eds.), Around the Tree. Springer.
    A fairly simple theory of the semantics of tense is obtained by combining three claims: (i) for any time t, a present-tense sentence `p' is either true or false at t; (ii) for any time t0 earlier than t, the future-tense sentence `It will be the case that p at t' is true at t0 if `p' is true at t, false otherwise; (iii) for any time t0 later than t, the past-tense sentence `It was the case that p at (...)
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  • Neo-Positivist Metaphysics.Alyssa Ney - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):53-78.
    Some philosophers argue that many contemporary debates in metaphysics are “illegitimate,” “shallow,” or “trivial,” and that “contemporary analytic metaphysics, a professional activity engaged in by some extremely intelligent and morally serious people, fails to qualify as part of the enlightened pursuit of objective truth, and should be discontinued” (Ladyman and Ross, Every thing must go: Metaphysics naturalized , 2007 ). Many of these critics are explicit about their sympathies with Rudolf Carnap and his circle, calling themselves ‘neo-positivists’ or ‘neo-Carnapians.’ Yet (...)
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  • The Everett Interpretation: Structure.Simon Saunders - 2021 - In E. Knox & A. Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics.
    The Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics divides naturally into two parts: first, the interpretation of the structure of the quantum state, in terms of branching, and second, the interpretation of this branching structure in terms of probability. This is the first of two reviews of the Everett interpretation, and focuses on structure, with particular attention to the role of decoherence theory. Written in terms of the quantum histories formalism, decoherence theory just is the theory of branching structure, in Everett's sense.
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  • Many-Measurements or Many-Worlds? A Dialogue.Diederik Aerts & Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (4):399-427.
    Many advocates of the Everettian interpretation consider that theirs is the only approach to take quantum mechanics really seriously, and that this approach allows to deduce a fantastic scenario for our reality, one that consists of an infinite number of parallel worlds that branch out continuously. In this article, written in dialogue form, we suggest that quantum mechanics can be taken even more seriously, if the many-worlds view is replaced by a many-measurements view. This allows not only to derive the (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • The Physics and Metaphysics of Primitive Stuff.Michael Esfeld, Dustin Lazarovici, Vincent Lam & Mario Hubert - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):133-61.
    The article sets out a primitive ontology of the natural world in terms of primitive stuff—that is, stuff that has as such no physical properties at all—but that is not a bare substratum either, being individuated by metrical relations. We focus on quantum physics and employ identity-based Bohmian mechanics to illustrate this view, but point out that it applies all over physics. Properties then enter into the picture exclusively through the role that they play for the dynamics of the primitive (...)
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  • Typicality in Pure Wave Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - unknown
    Hugh Everett III's pure wave mechanics is a deterministic physical theory with no probabilities. He nevertheless sought to show how his theory might be understood as making the same statistical predictions as the standard collapse formulation of quantum mechanics. We will consider Everett's argument for pure wave mechanics, how it depends on the notion of branch typicality, and the relationship between the predictions of pure wave mechanics and the standard quantum probabilities.
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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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  • Quantum Mechanics in a New Light.Ulrich 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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  • Branching of Possible Worlds.Philip Percival - 2013 - Synthese 190 (18):4261-4291.
    The question as to whether some objects are possible worlds that have an initial segment in common, i.e. so that their fusion is a temporal tree whose branches are possible worlds, arises both for those who hold that our universe has the structure of a temporal tree and for those who hold that what there is includes concrete universes of every possible variety. The notion of “possible world” employed in the question is seen to be the notion of an object (...)
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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 A. 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.Alastair 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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  • 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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  • Putnam Looks at Quantum Mechanics.Christian Wuthrich - unknown
    Hilary Putnam has argued that from a realist perspective, quantum mechanics stands in need of an interpretation. Ironically, this hypothesis may appear vulnerable against arguments drawing on Putnam's own work. Nancy Cartwright has urged that his 1962 essay on the meaning of theoretical terms suggests that quantum mechanics needs no interpretation and thus stands in tension with his claim of three years later. She furthermore contends that this conflict should be resolved in favour of the earlier work, as quantum mechanics, (...)
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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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  • Curious and Sublime: The Connection Between Uncertainty and Probability in Physics.Harvey R. Brown - unknown
    From its first significant appearance in physics, the notion of probability has been linked in the minds of physicists with the notion of uncertainty. But the link may prove to be tenuous, if quantum mechanics, construed in terms of the Everett interpretation, is anything to go by.
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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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  • Can Many-Worlds Survive a Quantum Doomsday.Brett Bevers - unknown
    A novel puzzle for the notion of probability in the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is presented. The puzzle makes use of a thought experiment that some have claimed would provide empirical support for Many-Worlds over alternatives. It is argued that, if the predictions of Many-Worlds do indeed differ from other interpretations as claimed, then Born’s rule must generally be invalid in Many-Worlds. It is shown that the thought experiment provides a counter example for recent decision-theoretic arguments that purport 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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  • Entropy - A Guide for the Perplexed.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-142.
    Entropy is ubiquitous in physics, and it plays important roles in numerous other disciplines ranging from logic and statistics to biology and economics. However, a closer look reveals a complicated picture: entropy is defined differently in different contexts, and even within the same domain different notions of entropy are at work. Some of these are defined in terms of probabilities, others are not. The aim of this chapter is to arrive at an understanding of some of the most important notions (...)
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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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