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The Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics$
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Jeffrey A. Barrett

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844686.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

Many Worlds and Such

Many Worlds and Such

(p.162) 10 Many Worlds and Such
The Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

Jeffrey A. Barrett

Oxford University Press

We consider a number of radically different ways that Everett’s pure wave mechanics has been understood. Each of these reconstructions aims to provide a stronger variety of empirical adequacy than Everett’s own formulation of the theory. Among the alternative formulations of quantum mechanics we consider are splitting worlds, decohering worlds, many minds, many threads, and many maps. Each of these differs in its metaphysical commitments and, hence, in how it explains determinate measurement records and probabilities. We focus, in particular, on the problem of accounting for the standard quantum probabilities. To this end, we consider the relationship between typicality and probability and contrast synchronic and forward-looking probabilities. We conclude with a brief discussion of epistemological, pragmatic, and information-theoretic formulations of quantum mechanics. A recurring issue in this chapter concerns what it should mean for a physical theory to be empirically adequate.

Keywords:   many worlds, typicality and probability, self-location, synchronic and forward-looking probability, splitting worlds, decohering worlds, many minds, many threads, epistemic formulations of quantum mechanics

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