Category Archives: Philosophy

Quantum Sleeping Beauty and the Multiverse

Hidden in my papers with Chip Sebens on Everettian quantum mechanics is a simple solution to a fun philosophical problem with potential implications for cosmology: the quantum version of the Sleeping Beauty Problem. It’s a classic example of self-locating uncertainty: … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | 79 Comments

Why Probability in Quantum Mechanics is Given by the Wave Function Squared

One of the most profound and mysterious principles in all of physics is the Born Rule, named after Max Born. In quantum mechanics, particles don’t have classical properties like “position” or “momentum”; rather, there is a wave function that assigns … Continue reading

Posted in arxiv, Philosophy, Science | 74 Comments

Why the Many-Worlds Formulation of Quantum Mechanics Is Probably Correct

I have often talked about the Many-Worlds or Everett approach to quantum mechanics — here’s an explanatory video, an excerpt from From Eternity to Here, and slides from a talk. But I don’t think I’ve ever explained as persuasively as … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | 237 Comments

Physicists Should Stop Saying Silly Things about Philosophy

The last few years have seen a number of prominent scientists step up to microphones and belittle the value of philosophy. Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss, and Neil deGrasse Tyson are well-known examples. To redress the balance a bit, philosopher of … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | 225 Comments

Quantum Mechanics Smackdown

Greetings from the Big Apple, where the World Science Festival got off to a swinging start with the announcement of the Kavli Prize winners. The local favorite will of course be the Astrophysics prize, which was awarded to Alan Guth, … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | 53 Comments

The Meaning of Life

I have been a crappy blogger, and I blame real life for getting in the way. (No, that’s not the meaning of life.) I keep meaning to say something more substantial about the BICEP2 controversy — in the meantime check … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Philosophy | 40 Comments

Afterlife Aftermath

Video from Wednesday’s debate over “Death Is Not Final” is now up. You’ll be happy to hear that the good guys “won.” In scare quotes because helping the world’s population understand that naturalism is the right way to view the … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion | 179 Comments

Is There Life After Death? A Debate

No, there’s not. In order to believe otherwise, you would have to be willing to radically alter our fundamental understanding of physics on the basis of almost no evidence. Which I’m not willing to do. But others feel differently! So … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion | 92 Comments

Help Wanted: Moving Naturalism Forward

Update: This request received an amazing response! I had to make a tough choice, but I’ve picked someone to do the paid work of making a careful outline and suggesting possible excerpts. Thanks for everyone who sent a query. Following … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Philosophy, Science | 23 Comments

Talks on God and Cosmology

Hey, remember the debate I had with William Lane Craig, on God and Cosmology? (Full video here, my reflections here.) That was on a Friday night, and on Saturday morning the event continued with talks from four other speakers, along … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Religion | 22 Comments