IoP Colloquium: Jeremy Butterfield (Cambridge University)

A philosopher’s perspective on multiverse proposals

21Sept2017 16:00 - 17:00


Please join us this Thursday, September 21, for the first installment of the IoP colloquium 2017-2018. This month's speaker is Jeremy Butterfield (U. of Cambridge), a world-renowned philosopher of physics noted particularly for his work on philosophical aspects of quantum theory, relativity theory and classical mechanics. He will offer a philosopher’s perspective on the hotly debated concept of 'multiverse' in physics and cosmology.

This talk will survey, from the perspective of a philosopher of physics, three very different speculations that go by the name of 'multiverse'. They are: (i) the cosmological multiverse, derived from modern cosmology; (ii) the many worlds of the Everettian approach to interpreting quantum theory; and (iii) the idea of all logically possible worlds, from a tradition in logic and philosophy that goes back to Leibniz. Though all three conceptions are very speculative and come in various versions, there are some robust connections between them.


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