Topoi

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 35–37

On what it takes to be a world

Authors

  • David Z. Albert
    • Columbia University and University of California
  • Jeffrey A. Barrett
    • Columbia University and University of California
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00763476

Cite this article as:
Albert, D.Z. & Barrett, J.A. Topoi (1995) 14: 35. doi:10.1007/BF00763476

Abstract

A many-worlds interpretation is of quantum mechanics tells us that the linear equations of motion are the true and complete laws for the time-evolution of every physical system and that the usual quantum-mechanical states provide complete descriptions of all possible physical situations. Such an interpretation, however, denies the standard way of understanding quantum-mechanical states. When the pointer on a measuring device is in a superposition of pointing many different directions, for example, we are to understand this as many pointers, each in a differentworld, each pointing in a different determinate direction. We ask here whether such talk makes any genuinely intelligible sense of the term “world”. We conclude that it does not.

Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995