[ExI] against Many Worlds QT

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon May 18 02:13:40 UTC 2009

Jef writes

> > One world versus many: the
 > > inadequacy of Everettian accounts of
> > evolution, probability, and scientific
 > > confirmation
> > Among the scientific virtues of this account, as I see it, are its 
> > explicitness about the provisional nature of our
> > theories, and its undogmatic sidestepping of the problem of giving a 
> > fundamental meaning to probability. It recognizes
> > the possibility that random-seeming data may turn out to have a simpler 
> > description. It recognizes too that, if we find
> > consistent regularities that a probabilistic theory says are highly 
> > improbable, then we should and will feel impelled
> > to produce a better theory. At the same time, it stays silent on the 
> > question of whether random-seeming physical
> > data are genuinely randomly generated in some fundamental sense, and 
> > hence avoids the need to explain what such
> > an assertion could really mean and how we could be persuaded of its truth.

Well, I don't have any problem with the authors
"staying silent" on a difficult subject, but
Jef raises his side's (I'd call anti-realist)
take on the matter:

> How refreshing to see emphasis on good science as increasing coherence 
> over increasing context rather than the epistemologically untenable 
> "uncovering of truth."

For realists like me, attempting to uncover the truth,
or perhaps just modeling our activities as a pursuit
of a (completely) unattainable final goal, is definitely
the best approach.

Reinforcing the realist position, Sunny Auyang describes
quantum field theory is what is regarded by some (including
me) the easiest introduction to quantum field theory so
far written, namely her "How Is Quantum Field Theory Possible?",
though even at the pure philosophical/epistemological level,
it's pretty heavy going.

Chris Hibbert has a great blog entry about her book:
and it captures a great many of the non-technical parts of the Auyang book.


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