Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (3):423-456 (2004)
AbstractDifficulties over probability have often been considered fatal to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. Here I argue that the Everettian can have everything she needs from `probability' without recourse to indeterminism, ignorance, primitive identity over time or subjective uncertainty: all she needs is a particular *rationality principle*. The decision-theoretic approach recently developed by Deutsch and Wallace claims to provide just such a principle. But, according to Wallace, decision theory is itself applicable only if the correct attitude to a future Everettian measurement outcome is subjective uncertainty. I argue that subjective uncertainty is not to be had, but I offer an alternative interpretation that enables the Everettian to live without uncertainty: we can justify Everettian decision theory on the basis that an Everettian should *care about* all her future branches. The probabilities appearing in the decision-theoretic representation theorem can then be interpreted as the degrees to which the rational agent cares about each future branch. This reinterpretation, however, reduces the intuitive plausibility of one of the Deutsch -Wallace axioms.
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Citations of this work
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.
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.
Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Lev Vaidman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Relativity, the Open Future, and the Passage of Time.Oliver Pooley - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):321-363.
Branching and Uncertainty.Simon Saunders & David Wallace - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):293-305.
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Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.John Von Neumann & Oskar Morgenstern - 1944 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.