Metaphysical indeterminacy in Everettian quantum mechanics

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 14 (3):1-22 (2024)
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Abstract

The question of whether Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM) justifies the existence of metaphysical indeterminacy has recently come to the fore. Metaphysical indeterminacy has been argued to emerge from three sources: coherent superpositions, the indefinite number of branches in the quantum multiverse and the nature of these branches. This paper reviews the evidence and concludes that those arguments don’t rely on EQM alone and rest on metaphysical auxiliary assumptions that transcend the physics of EQM. We show how EQM can be ontologically interpreted without positing metaphysical indeterminacy by adopting a deflationary attitude towards branches. Two ways of developing the deflationary view are then proposed: one where branches are eliminated, and another where they are reduced to the universal quantum state.

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Author Profiles

Baptiste Le Bihan
University of Geneva
David Glick
University of California, Davis

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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