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The Nature of Contingency – Quantum Physics as Modal Realism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Nature of Contingency: Quantum Physics as Modal Realism

Alastair Wilson


Contingency is everywhere, but what is it? This book defends a radical new theory of contingency as a physical phenomenon. Drawing on the many-worlds approach to quantum theory and on cutting-edge metaphysics and philosophy of science, it argues that quantum theories are best understood as telling us about the space of genuine possibilities rather than as telling us solely about actuality. When quantum physics is taken seriously in the way first proposed by Hugh Everett III, it provides the resources for a new systematic metaphysical framework encompassing possibility, necessity, actuality, ch ... More

Keywords: contingency, quantum theory, metaphysics, philosophy of science, modal realism, naturalism, multiverse, possibility, necessity, chance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198846215
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198846215.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alastair Wilson, author
University of Birmingham