Re: Maudlin's argument

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 12:02:45 +1000

On Sun, Oct 15, 2006 at 03:21:52AM -0000, wrote:
> Russell Standish wrote:
> > I don't quite follow your argument. OMs are not computations. Whatever
> > they are under computationalism, they must be defined by a set of
> > information, a particular meaning to a particular observer.
> >
> > Quantum states have this property. For observables that the state is
> > an eigenvalue of, the state contains precise information about those
> > observables. For observables that the state is not an eigenvalue of,
> > there is still information about relative proportions of different
> > outcomes of measurement.
> A wavefunction itself does contain information about the 'relative
> proportions of different outcomes of measurement' (as you put it) but
> extracting this information requires 'extra assumptions' apart from QM.
> We don't see half-dead, half-alive cats after all. Why not? Why do
> we only 'observe' classical reality (i.e objects in definite states)?
> This is what is not fully explained by QM.
> Perhaps I should revise what I said somewhat: I can agree with you that
> the 'consistent histories' that you mentioned earlier are equiavlent to
> observer histories. But it's the supposed derivation of these
> 'consistent histories' from the QM multiverse picture that I'm
> doubting. In other words I think that somewhere along the way some
> 'extra non-QM assumptions' have slipped in ;)

Perhaps you should read my paper "Why Occam's Razor" - available from
my website, or an arXiv mirror near you (

The assumptions I run off are called TIME and PROJECTION, as well as
the Kolmogorov probability axioms (and the set theoretic axioms
underlying them). From this, I can derive the main QM postulates,
aside from the "odd man out" Correspondence principle. The CP itself
can be obtained from Stenger's POVI, but needs 3+1 Minkowski

Probably what you think of as the "extra non-QM assumptions" are the TIME
and PROJECTION postulates, but these are relatively minimal models of
consciousness. Things like thermostats probably also satisfy TIME and


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A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                      
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Received on Sat Oct 14 2006 - 23:50:10 PDT

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