Re: choice and the quantum

From: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 11:54:15 -0500

Lennart Nilsson wrote:

>What on earth does the following footnote mean? Are we back to
>where the "quantumbuck" stops?
>Understanding Deutsch's Probability in a Deterministic Multiverse by
>Footnote 16
>The following objection is sometimes raised against the
>approach: in an Everettian context, all outcomes of a decision are
>and therefore it simply does not make sense to make choices, or to
>about how one should act. If that is correct, then while we may agree
>probability can in principle be derived from rationality, this is of
no use
>to the Everettian, since (it is claimed) the Everettian cannot make
sense of
>rationality itself.
>If this was correct, it would be a pressing 'incoherence problem' for
>decision-theoretic approach. The objection, however, is simply
mistaken. The
>mistake arises from an assumption that decisions must be modelled as
>Everettian branching, with each possible outcome of the decision
realized on
>some branch. This is not true, and it is not at all what is going on
in the
>decision scenarios Deutsch and Wallace consider.
>Rather, the agent is making a genuine choice between quantum games,
only one
>of which will be realized (namely, the chosen game). To be sure, each
>consists of an array of branches, all of which will, if that game is
>be realized. But this does not mean that all games will be realized.
It is
>no less coherent for an Everettian to have a preference ordering over
>quantum games than it is for an agent in a state of classical
uncertainty to
>have a preference ordering over classical lotteries.

To me this looks like an attempt to hold onto rationality and meaning,
which requires genuine choice. Modern man has been stripped of his/her
rationality as a result of trying to hold onto rationalism in a closed
system. But like I've said on my soapbox before, the multiverse
doesn't solve this problem, it just makes it worse if anything.
Actually, if we truly accept the conclusions of rationalism in a closed
system, the multiverse doesn't make it worse; but it also doesn't help
one iota, contrary to the hopes of its proponents.

Tom Caylor
Received on Wed Jan 25 2006 - 12:52:29 PST

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