Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sceptical scenarios and Quantum Mechanics

It's occurred to me that on most non-Bohmian interpretations of quantum mechanics, we end up being in a superposition of the kind of universe we think we're in and a sceptical scenario, e.g., some brain in a vat scenario, though details of the scenario may differ depending on an interpretation. All that's needed for that to happen is for there to have been a non-zero chance of a sceptical scenario with the same phenomenal states that we actually have. I don't know if this is a problem if the sceptical scenario is assigned low weight by the wavefunction.

1 comment:

Michael Gonzalez said...

I share this suspicion. Hydrodynamic models and Bohmian/deBroglie models at least take for granted that there is actually a world of particles persisting through time and moving in space (an assumption which, if denied, would probably lead to radical skepticism). There are some strange effects that need explaining, and so Bohmians, et al, postulate various explanations within the bounds of that main assumption.

However, these other interpretations essentially throw out that assumption, and do so without the caution that a philosopher would normally have. Philosophers fear the Cartesian demon, but scientists are (typically) happily ignorant of that looming threat.

Surely, at the very least, a proposal which maintains that assumption should be rationally preferable to any others, all other things (empirical observations, predictions, etc) being equal.