Whence deep realism for Everettian quantum mechanics?

Foundations of Physics 52 (6):121 (2022)
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‘Shallow’ and ‘deep’ versions of scientific realism may be distinguished as follows: the shallow realist is satisfied with belief in the existence of the posits of our best scientific theories; by contrast, deep realists claim that realism can be legitimate only if such entities are described in metaphysical terms. We argue that this methodological discussion can be fruitfully applied in Everettian quantum mechanics, specifically on the debate concerning the existence of worlds and the recent dispute between Everettian actualism and quantum modal realism. After presenting what is involved in such dispute, we point to a dilemma for realists: either we don’t have the available metaphysical tools to answer the deep realist’s demands, and realism is not justified in this case, or such demands of metaphysical dressing are not mandatory for scientific realism, and deep versions of realism are not really required.

Author Profiles

Jonas R. B. Arenhart
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Raoni Arroyo
University of Campinas


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