Distinctions in fundamentality between different levels of description are central to the viability of contemporary decoherence-based Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM). This approach to quantum theory characteristically combines a determinate fundamental reality (one universal wavefunction) with an indeterminate emergent reality (multiple decoherent worlds). In this chapter I explore how the Everettian appeal to fundamentality and emergence can be understood within existing metaphysical frameworks, identify grounding and concept fundamentality as promising theoretical tools, and use them to characterize a system of explanatory levels (with associated laws of nature) for EQM. This Everettian levels structure encompasses and extends the ‘classical’ levels structure. The ‘classical’ levels of physics, chemistry, biology, etc. are recovered, but they are emergent in character and potentially variable across Everett worlds. EQM invokes an additional fundamental level, not present in the classical levels picture, and a novel potential role for self-location in interlevel metaphysics. When given a modal realist interpretation, EQM also makes trouble for supervenience-based approaches to levels.
|Title of host publication||Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality|
|Subtitle of host publication||Naturalizing Quantum Theory between Scientific Realism and Ontological Indeterminacy|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Jul 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
- many worlds
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- History and Philosophy of Science