## A Model of the Universe: Space-time, Probability, and DecisionStorrs McCall presents an original philosophical theory of the nature of the universe based on a striking new model of its space-time structure. He shows that this theory can illuminate a wide variety of hitherto unresolved philosophical problems. These include: the direction and flow of time;the nature of scientific laws; the interpretation of quantum mechanics; the definition of probability; counterfactual semantics; and the notions of identity, essential properties, deliberation, decision, and free will. A particular instance of the explanatory powers of the proposed space-time modelis its account of quantum non-locality in the EPR and GHZ experiments. Professor McCall argues that the fact that the model explains and throws light on such a broad range of problems constitutes strong evidence that the universe is as the model portrays it. |

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### Contents

THE MODEL | 1 |

THE DIRECTION AND FLOW OF TIME | 20 |

i The direction of time | 21 |

the minddependence theory | 25 |

iii Objective time flow | 29 |

iv McTaggarts alleged proof of the inconsistency of the Aseries | 35 |

v Truthconditions for temporal discourse | 40 |

vi Cambridge change and real change | 44 |

v Semantics for type A conditionals | 180 |

vi Type B conditionals | 184 |

vii Summary on conditionals | 190 |

INDIVIDUALS AND IDENTITY | 192 |

i Actualism and modal realism | 194 |

ii Individuals in the branched model | 199 |

iii Transtemporal identity | 206 |

iv Transworld identity | 218 |

CAUSATION AND LAWS OF NATURE | 48 |

ii Laws of nature | 55 |

iii Cosmology | 60 |

iv Scientific knowledge | 64 |

Armstrong Dretske and Tooley Lewis and van Fraassen | 66 |

iv Branched laws | 82 |

AN INTERPRETATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS | 85 |

i Quantum probabilities | 86 |

ii Quantum nonlocality and the EPR experiment | 94 |

iii The measurement problem | 114 |

iv Comparison with the manyworlds interpretation | 130 |

v Indeterminism | 136 |

PROBABILITY | 140 |

i Rival theories of probability | 141 |

ii The branched definition of probability | 147 |

iii A probability value for every event | 155 |

CONDITIONALS | 163 |

ii Inferential degree of belief and possible world analyses of counterfactuals | 165 |

iii Comparative similarity | 171 |

iv Two kinds of conditionals | 177 |

v Puzzle cases of identity | 223 |

ESSENTIAL PROPERTIES | 226 |

ii The necessity of origin | 231 |

iii Natural kinds | 241 |

DECISION AND FREE WILL | 250 |

i Chance deliberation and decision | 253 |

ii Deliberationreasons and explanationreasons | 260 |

iii The causal theory of action | 266 |

iv Responsibility for decisions | 271 |

v Indeterministic mechanisms which select their own future states | 273 |

vi Summingup | 278 |

CONCLUSION | 280 |

The Topology of Branched Spaces | 289 |

Branched FourDimensional SpaceTime | 295 |

A Branched Picture of Mermins EPR Experiment | 298 |

Probabilities of Conditionals Defined as Conditional Probabilities | 303 |

307 | |

323 | |

### Other editions - View all

A Model of the Universe: Space-Time, Probability, and Decision Storrs McCall No preview available - 1996 |

### Common terms and phrases

action actual world alternative analyser answer anthropic principle atom branch attrition branch point branched interpretation branched model branched model provides branched structure branched theory Cambridge change causal chance choice choice-set concept constitute counterfactuals cut spaces decenary tree defined deliberation determinism electron EPR experiment essential properties example exist explanation fact false four-dimensional object Fraassen gametes given human hyperplane indeterministic individual inference initial conditions laws of nature left photon Lewis Lewis's logical many-worlds interpretation measurement Minkowski world natural kinds node non-local notion observed outcomes particles past philosophers photon physically possible polarized possible worlds present prism stack prob probabilistic probability diagram probability values problem propagules proportion propositions quantum mechanics question R-type relative right photon semantics sets of branches sortal space-time spatio-temporal special relativity superposition supervene supervenience temporal tense theory things three-dimensional tion transworld identity tree model true truth truth-values type B conditionals universe tree upper cut vector zygote