, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 1553-1585

Decoherence, relative states, and evolutionary adaptation

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We review the decoherent histories approach to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. The Everett relative-state theory is reformulated in terms of decoherent histories. A model of evolutionary adaptation is shown to imply decoherence. A general interpretative framework is proposed: probability and value-definiteness are to have a similar status to the attribution of tense in classical spacetime theory.

Comments and suggestions by D. Albert, J. Butterfield, J. Halliwell, H. Putnam, A. Shimony, E. Squires, P. Tappenden, and R. Weingard are gratefully acknowledged. Versions of this material were presented at Rutgers, Budapest, Imperial College, London, Oxford, and Cambridge; I thank the organizers and participants for their hospitality and constructive criticisms.