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Varieties of Divergence: A Response to Saunders and Wallace

Tappenden, Paul (2010) Varieties of Divergence: A Response to Saunders and Wallace. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    I continue to maintain that David Lewis’s concept of overlapping persons cannot yield pre-measurement uncertainty in the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics in the way that Simon Saunders and David Wallace originally seemed to suggest. However, I argue that in their reply to me they make it clear that they do not wish to invoke overlap of persons after all. That makes it mysterious why they defended their interpretation of personal overlap in the first place and questionable what role overlap has to play in their proposal. If Everettian branching can be understood to involve the divergence of distinct, non-overlapping worlds a concept of pre-measurement uncertainty is available. That idea was first proposed by David Deutsch but required an ad hoc postulate. Saunders has recently suggested that a similar scheme arises naturally out of the physics. If correct, that is important as it offers escape from some bizarre consequences of current alternative ways of understanding probability in the Everett interpretation


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Commentary on: Saunders, Simonand Wallace, David (2008) Branching and Uncertainty. [Preprint]
    Additional Information: This is a response to Saunders' and Wallace's reply to my critique of their 'Branching and Uncertainty', those three papers being published together in the British Journal for the Philsoophy of Science 2008, vol. 59 no.3
    Keywords: everett many-worlds branching
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
    Depositing User: paul tappenden
    Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:19
    Item ID: 5384
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5384

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