On what being a world takes away

Philosophy of Science 63 (3):158 (1996)

In their article "On What It Takes To Be a World", David Albert and Jeffrey Barrett raise "a rather urgent question about what the proponents of a many-worlds interpretation [of quantum mechanics] can possibly mean by the term 'worlds' " (1995, 35). I argue that their considerations do not translate into an argument against the Many-Worlds conception of a world unless one requires that the dispositions that measurement devices display through the outcomes they record be explainable in terms of facts particular to the worlds in which those devices do their recording. Granting that their conception of a world takes away the possibility of such an explanation, a Many-Worlds proponent can claim that the Universal quantum state, which does not represent a fact about any world in particular, is enough to ground the dispositions of measurement devices
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DOI 10.1086/289947
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