What is it about?
The philosopher David Lewis argued that if the many worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics (QM) is true, then we are all trans-world persons, which entails that since all possibilities obtain, there will always be a version of us that survives. This vision of immortality, however, Lewis argues, will leave us all "crippled, lonely, deathly ill (although never dead), and mentally infirm." This paper argues that given Lewis' other philosophical commitments and a unique understanding of transworld selves, his grim view of immortality does not hold even if the MWI of QM is true.
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Why is it important?
This paper argues for a unique understanding of the nature of transworld selfhood grounded in an externalist understanding of Robert Nozick's Closest Continuer Theory.
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This page is a summary of: Why We Shouldn’t Pity Schrödinger’s Kitty: Revisiting David Lewis’ Worry About Quantum Immortality in a Branching Multiverse, Metaphysica, April 2019, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/mp-2019-2006.
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