, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 235–266

Time, quantum mechanics, and decoherence

  • Simon Saunders

DOI: 10.1007/BF01089802

Cite this article as:
Saunders, S. Synthese (1995) 102: 235. doi:10.1007/BF01089802


State-reduction and the notion of “actuality” are compared to “passage” through time and the notion of “the present”; already in classical relativity the latter give rise to difficulties. The solution proposed here is to treat both tense and value-definiteness as relational properties or “facts as relations”; likewise the notions of change and probability. In both cases “essential” characteristics are absent: temporal relations are tenselessly true; probabilistic relations are deterministically true.

The basic ideas go back to Everett, although the technical development makes use of the decoherent histories theory of Griffiths, Omnès, and Gell-Mann and Hartle. Alternative interpretations of the decoherent histories framework are also considered.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Saunders
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA