Since the subject has been broached...

One world versus many: the inadequacy of Everettian accounts of evolution,//
//probability, and scientific confirmation/

by Adrian Kent

(Dated: August 24, 2010)

"There is a compelling intellectual case for exploring whether purely unitary quantum theory defines a sensible and scientifically adequate theory, as Everett originally proposed. Many different and incompatible attempts to define a coherent Everettian quantum theory have been made over the past fifty years. However, no known version of the theory (unadorned by extra ad hoc postulates) can account for the appearance of probabilities and explain why the theory it was meant to replace, Copenhagen quantum theory, appears to be confirmed, or more generally why our evolutionary
history appears to be Born-rule typical.
This article reviews some ingenious and interesting recent attempts in this direction by Wallace, Greaves-Myrvold and others, and explains why they don't work. An account of one-world randomness, which appears scientifically satisfactory, and has no many-worlds analogue, is proposed. A fundamental obstacle to confirming many-worlds theories is illustrated by considering some toy many-worlds models. These models show that branch weights can exist without having any role in either rational decision-making or theory confirmation, and also that the latter two roles are
logically separate.
Wallace's proposed decision theoretic axioms for rational agents in a multiverse and claimed derivation of the Born rule are examined. It is argued that Wallace's strategy of axiomatizing a mathematically precise decision theory within a fuzzy Everettian quasiclassical ontology is incoherent. Moreover, Wallace's axioms are not constitutive of rationality either in Everettian quantum theory or in theories in which branchings and branch weights are precisely defined. In both cases,
there exist coherent rational strategies that violate some of the axioms."



You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to