Hilary Greaves

Associate Professor, Faculty of Philosophy

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Faculty of Philosophy


Hilary Greaves' current research mainly concerns the notion of symmetry in  physics and examines the question of what we can infer, from the  symmetries of our best physical theories, about the structure of space  and time, and in how (if at all) answers to such questions are  different in classical and in quantum theories. At the moment she is particularly interested in time reversal and the CPT theorem, and in the foundations of quantum field theory more generally.

Before that, much of Hilary's recent research focussed on the Everett  ("many-worlds") interpretation of quantum mechanics. It has often been  thought that, due to conceptual difficulties that arise when one tries, quantum mechanics cannot be interpreted as even an approximately true  description of physical reality; it must rather (the idea runs) be  regarded as merely an algorithm for predicting the results of  experiments. Against this, the Everett interpretation aims to provide a  "realist" account of quantum reality. The interpretation, however, faces problems, among which is the "problem of probability": it seems  difficult to make conceptual sense of the probabilistic predictions of quantum mechanics within an Everett interpretation.

Prof. Greaves' work within the program looks to examine the primary research questions by bringing to bear insights from decision theory, confirmation theory and the philosophy of probability.