(2017) Synthese 194 (2).

Towards a theory of universes

structure theory and the mathematical universe hypothesis

Colin Hamlin

pp. 571-591

The maturation of the physical image has made apparent the limits of our scientific understanding of fundamental reality. These limitations serve as motivation for a new form of metaphysical inquiry that restricts itself to broadly scientific methods. Contributing towards this goal we combine the mathematical universe hypothesis as developed by Max Tegmark with the axioms of Stewart Shapiro’s structure theory. The result is a theory we call the Theory of the Structural Multiverse (TSM). The focus is on informal theory development and constraint satisfaction. Some empirical consequences of the theory are worked out, in particular the feasibility of a predictive observer selection effect. The explanatory, unifying, and generative powers of the theory are found to substantially support the theory. The TSM is demonstrated to be an empirically significant scientific theory that is foundational to and continuous with the rest of the scientific image.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-015-0959-y

Full citation:

Hamlin, C. (2017). Towards a theory of universes: structure theory and the mathematical universe hypothesis. Synthese 194 (2), pp. 571-591.

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