Privileged-Perspective Realism in the Quantum Multiverse

In David Glick, George Darby & Anna Marmodoro (eds.), The Foundation of Reality: Fundamentality, Space, and Time. Oxford University Press (2020)
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Privileged-perspective realism (PPR) is a version of metaphysical realism that takes certain irreducibly perspectival facts to be partly constitutive of reality. PPR asserts that there is a single metaphysically privileged standpoint from which these perspectival facts obtain. This chapter discusses several views that fall under the category of privileged-perspective realism. These include presentism, which is PPR about tensed facts, and non-multiverse interpretations of quantum mechanics, which the chapter argues, constitute PPR about world-indexed facts. Using the framework of the bird perspective and the frog perspective, it argues that PPR views methodologically treat the frog perspective as metaphysically primary. This chapter considers case studies of metaphysical interpretations of special relativity and quantum mechanics in order to demonstrate that such motivations for PPR are non-naturalistic. Further, it considers psychological factors that motivate the appeal of PPR views and offers naturalistic explanations of why we should not expect them to produce an adequate metaphysics of science.

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Nora Berenstain
University of Tennessee, Knoxville


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