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On Predictions and Explanations in Multiverse Scenarios

  • Keizo Matsubara
Chapter
Part of the European Studies in Philosophy of Science book series (ESPS, volume 9)

Abstract

Many contemporary physicists suggest that we should take the claim that we live in a multiverse seriously. When doing this they often invoke arguments based on the controversial anthropic principle. Critics argue that this leads to untestable and unscientific theories. In this paper criteria are suggested that need to be satisfied before a multiverse theory should be considered scientifically respectable. One important point is that the multiverse is described in sufficient detail. In some cases, a multiverse theory can be testable; however, to properly test a multiverse theory it is important to distinguish new predictions from explanations based on the multiverse.

Keywords

Prediction Explanation Multiverse String theory Scientific methodology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Richard Dawid and Christian Wüthrich who also contributed to the symposium on Methodological challenges in quantum gravity, which was part of the conference Philosophy of Science Between the Natural Sciences the Social Sciences and the Humanities organized by GWP and held in Düsseldorf, March 8–11, 2016.

This work was performed under a collaborative agreement between the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Geneva and made possible by grant number 56314 from the John Templeton Foundation and its contents are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of the John Templeton Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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