Conquering Mount Everett: Branch-Counting Versus the Born Rule

Jake Khawaja Princeton University

Tuesday, November 14, 2023
1:00pm–3:00pm (East Coast time)

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• The Foundations of Physics @Harvard series is co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy
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Video (YouTube)


Open Discussion and Q&A


This paper develops and advocates a rule for assigning self-locating credences in quantum branching scenarios, called Indexed Branch-Counting. It is argued that Indexed Branch-Counting can be justified on both accuracy-theoretic grounds and on the grounds that it satisfies a requirement of exchangeability for probability assignments. Since Indexed Branch-Counting diverges from the Born Rule, this poses trouble for Everettian approaches to probability. The paper also addresses a common argument against branch-counting, namely that the rule is incoherent in light of putative vagueness in the number of branches. Finally, the paper addresses a recent proposal from Simon Saunders that aims to reconcile branch-counting with the Born Rule, arguing that the proposal faces challenges.