On Many-Minds Interpretations of Quantum Theory

Publication Year:
1997
Usage 965
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/209
Author(s):
Donald, Matthew J.
preprint description
This paper is a response to some recent discussions of many-minds interpretations in the philosophical literature. After an introduction to the many-minds idea, the complexity of quantum states for macroscopic objects is stressed. Then it is proposed that a characterization of the physical structure of observers is a proper goal for physical theory. It is argued that an observer cannot be defined merely by the instantaneous structure of a brain, but that the history of the brain's functioning must also be taken into account. Next the nature of probability in many-minds interpretations is discussed and it is suggested that only discrete probability models are needed. The paper concludes with brief comments on issues of actuality and identity over time.