PhilSci Archive

Branching and Uncertainty

Saunders, Simon and Wallace, David (2007) Branching and Uncertainty. [Preprint]

WarningThere is a more recent version of this item available.

Download (65kB)


Following Lewis, it is widely held that branching worlds differ in important ways from diverging worlds. There is, however, a simple and natural semantics under which sentences uttered in branching worlds have much the same truth conditions as they do in diverging worlds. Under this semantics, whether branching or diverging, speakers cannot say in advance which branch or world is theirs. They are uncertain as to the outcome. This same semantics ensures the truth of utterances typically made about quantum mechanical contingencies, including statements of uncertainty, if the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics is true. The `incoherence problem' of the Everett interpretation, that it can give no meaning to the notion of uncertainty, is thereby solved.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Saunders, Simon
Wallace, David
Keywords: branching, diverging, overlapping worlds, Lewis, quantum mechanics, Everett, many worlds interpretation
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: simon saunders
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3383

Available Versions of this Item

Commentary/Response Threads

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item