PhilSci Archive

Branching and Uncertainty

Saunders, Simon and Wallace, David (2008) Branching and Uncertainty. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (83Kb) | Preview

    Abstract

    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 ordinary sentences uttered in branching worlds have much the same truth values as they conventionally have 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:

    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: This is a revised version of the paper of the same name deposited on 12 June 2007, as it will appear in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Keywords: Everett, many worlds, Branching, Probability, quantum mechanics
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
    General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
    Depositing User: simon saunders
    Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2008
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:16
    Item ID: 3811
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3811

    Available Versions of this Item

    Commentary/Response Threads

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads