Anthropic arguments in quantum cosmology

Anthropic arguments in quantum cosmology


Simon Saunders is a philosopher of physics. His research has centred on the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, but includes topics in classical and general relativistic spacetime theories and statistical mechanics.

He is a defender of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory. In recent work he has developed a form of structuralism organized around the notion of object as it arises in formal logic, and specifically the concept of weak discernibility.

His project in residence is an extension of this: it concerns indefinite reference as it functions in ordinary language and in physics, both in relation to ontological commitment (manifold points, spacetime points, elementary particles) and probability. The most notable questions in the latter context involve self-location, among branches of the wave-function (in many worlds theory), and among regions of the cosmos (particularly, but not only, in inflationary cosmology). The anthropic principle, construed as a principle governing selection effects, is relevant to both, and is of topical importance to several uses of probability in contemporary cosmology.



01/09/2010 - 31/12/2010