Re: many worlds (was RE: Einstein)

From: Mitchell Porter (
Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 02:16:10 MDT

Nus said

>I like this interpretation, because it has all the beautiful simplicity
>of the Everett interpretation without the problems of other versions. The
>problem of probability also seems solvable or solved (in this version and
>others such as Deutsch's). It also fits nicely with functionalism and
>with the idea that identity over time (of observers and worlds) need not
>be exactly well-defined.

I'd turn that around and say that Dennett's functionalism and this approach
are untenable for precisely the same reason: they want to deny that there's
any particular fact of the matter regarding an epistemic fundamental. In one
case it's your conscious experience, in the other case it's the specific
that you live in.

Fuzzy Functionalist: The mind is a finite-state machine running on the
Critic: Which finite-state machine? There are many many ways of
the brain's physical state space into a space of computational states.
Fuzzy Functionalist: *shrug* Any coarse-graining that's fine enough to
for behavioral differences will do.

Mangled Worlds Proponent: The world we see is just a part of the universal
Critic: Which part? There are many many sets of decoherent histories.
Mangled Worlds Proponent: *shrug* Any coarse-graining that's fine enough
to account for experiment will do.

I disagree with Objectivists on a lot of things, but I do agree with the
principle that Ayn Rand called the Axiom of Identity: in order to be, you
have to be *something*. It makes no sense to take a particular thing
(your mind, your world) and say it's one of a set of things, but it's not
any one of them in particular.

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