I think this is a classic example of the problem of 'isms. In your
dichotomy below, I believe the wave function does indeed encode the
state of our knowledge - I say as much in my book. Yet I would say my
ensemble-based approach is Platonic, not Positivist.

Hmm, which am I, Platonist or Positivist? Buggered if I know!


On Tue, Aug 30, 2005 at 12:55:54PM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> [GK]
>  Since you referred me to John Preskill's delightful lectures on 
> quantum computation I figured I may quote you a little jewel
>  I found in there which, though obviously mistaken in terminology, is 
> quite relevant to this point and others you have raised.
>  About the Measurement Problem (chapt3, pg.50) Preskill points out that 
> "There are at least two schools of thought:
>  "Platonic": Physics describes reality. In quantum theory "the wave 
> function of the universe" is a complete description
> of physical reality"
>  "Positivist": Physics describes our perceptions. The wave function 
> encodes our state of knowledge, and the task of
>  quantum theory is to make the best possible predictions about the 
> future, given our current state of knowledge. "
> The he goes on to defend his choice of the first school:
>  "I believe in reality. My reason, I think, is a pragmatic one. As a 
> physicist I seek the most economical model that
> explains what I perceive. etc..." (you can read the rest...)
>  Platonists and positivists would certainly scream at this description 
> of their views but I think
>  it shows is that even the staunchest defenders of the Everett 
> interpretation think that by embracing it they
>  are embracing "reality" by which they mean the Physical Reality that, 
> you claim, does not exist ! To me this
>  suggests again that you have a very crooked view of MWI if you think 
> it supports you in any way...
> Godfrey
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