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Two of the most difficult problems in the foundations of physics are (1) what gives rise to the arrow of time and (2) what the ontology of quantum mechanics is. I propose a unified 'Humean' solution to the two problems. Humeanism allows us to incorporate the Past Hypothesis and the Statistical Postulate into the best system, which we then use to simplify the quantum state of the universe. This enables us to confer the nomological status to the quantum state in (...) 

In this thoughtprovoking book, Richard Healey proposes a new interpretation of quantum theory inspired by pragmatist philosophy. Healey puts forward the interpretation as an alternative to realist quantum theories on the one hand such as Bohmian mechanics, spontaneous collapse theories, and manyworlds interpretations, which are different proposals for describing what the quantum world is like and what the basic laws of physics are, and nonrealist interpretations on the other hand such as quantum Bayesianism, which proposes to understand quantum theory as (...) 

In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, it is standard to postulate that the initial wave function started in a particular macrostatethe special lowentropy macrostate selected by the Past Hypothesis. Moreover, there is an additional postulate about statistical mechanical probabilities according to which the initial wave function is a ''typical'' choice in the macrostate. Together, they support a probabilistic version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: typical initial wave functions will increase in entropy. Hence, there are two (...) 

If the Past Hypothesis underlies the arrows of time, what is the status of the Past Hypothesis? In this paper, I examine the role of the Past Hypothesis in the Boltzmannian account and defend the view that the Past Hypothesis is a candidate fundamental law of nature. Such a view is known to be compatible with Humeanism about laws, but as I argue it is also supported by a minimal nonHumean "governing'' view. Some worries arise from the nondynamical and timedependent (...) 

What is the relationship between objects and properties? According to a standard view, there are primitive individuals (or ‘particulars’, or ‘substrata’) that ‘instantiate’ or ‘have’ various properties. According to a rival view, objects are mere ‘bundles’ of properties. While there are a number of reasons to be skeptical of primitive individuals, there are also a number of challenges that the bundle theorist faces. The goal of this paper is to formulate a view about the relationship between objects and properties that (...) 

Humeanism about laws of nature is, roughly, the view that the laws of nature are just patterns, or ways of describing patterns, in the mosaic of events. In this paper I survey some of the (many!) objections that have been raised to Humeanism, considering how the Humean might respond. And I consider how we might make a positive case for Humeanism. The common thread running through all this is that the viability of the Humean view relies on the Humean having (...) 

In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, we postulate a lowentropy boundary condition to account for the temporal asymmetry. In this paper, I show that the Past Hypothesis also contains enough information to simplify the quantum ontology and define a unique initial condition in such a world. First, I introduce Density Matrix Realism, the thesis that the quantum universe is described by a fundamental density matrix that represents something objective. This stands in sharp contrast to Wave Function (...) 

If there are fundamental laws of nature, can they fail to be exact? In this paper, I consider the possibility that some fundamental laws are vague. I call this phenomenon nomic vagueness. I propose to characterize nomic vagueness as the existence of borderline lawful worlds. The existence of nomic vagueness raises interesting questions about the mathematical expressibility and metaphysical status of fundamental laws. For a case study, we turn to the Past Hypothesis, a postulate that (partially) explains the direction of (...) 

What exists at the fundamental level of reality? On the standard picture, the fundamental reality contains (among other things) fundamental matter, such as particles, fields, or even the quantum state. Nonfundamental facts are explained by facts about fundamental matter, at least in part. In this paper, I introduce a nonstandard picture called the "cosmic void” in which the universe is devoid of any fundamental material ontology. Facts about tables and chairs are recovered from a special kind of laws that satisfy (...) 

I look at the distinction between between realist and antirealist views of the quantum state. I argue that this binary classification should be reconceived as a continuum of different views about which properties of the quantum state are representationally significant. What's more, the extreme cases  all or none  are simply absurd, and should be rejected by all parties. In other words, no sane person should advocate extreme realism or antirealism about the quantum state. And if we focus on (...) 

According to a radical account of quantum metaphysics that I label ‘highdimensionalism’, ordinary objects are the ‘shadows’ of highdimensional fundamental ontology. Critics—especially Maudlin —allege that highdimensionalism cannot provide a satisfactory explanation of the manifest image. In this paper, I examine the two main ideas behind these criticisms: that highdimensionalist connections between fundamental and nonfundamental are 1) inscrutable, and 2) arbitrary. In response to the first, I argue that there is no metaphysically significant contrast regarding the scrutability of low and highdimensionalist (...) 