Physicalist philosopher David Papineau is clearly unhappy with the implications of quantum mechanics, as neurosurgeon Michael Egnor sets them out:
Michael Egnor: Do you endorse the many worlds phenomenon, the many worlds theory?
David Papineau: I prefer the many worlds view, but I was just saying was consistent with …
Michael Egnor: This is fascinating. David, you have just gotten done ridiculing, ridiculing Aristotelian, Thomistic [00:48:00] metaphysics because it involves the concepts of intelligibility and form, but you have accepted the idea that with every quantum event, an entirely new universe is created. If you’re talking magic, if you’re talking crazy stuff, boy, that is the pinnacle. That is the pinnacle. You think a new universe is created with any quantum event?
David Papineau: I don’t think you should argue in this way if you don’t understand the theory. I don’t think an entirely new [00:48:30] universe is created every time there’s a quantum event. I think there’s a local branching. It doesn’t involve the entire universe at all. It doesn’t proceed any faster than the speed of light. It’s a local thing, nothing magical about it at all.News, “Quantum physics: Is everything determined? Egnor vs. Papineau” at Mind Matters News
As it happens, many versions of multiverse theory do involve exactly that view. But quite the dustup!
Takehome: As a physicalist, Papineau is quite sure that the universe is deterministic and he endorses the many-worlds (multiverse) theory.
You may also wish to read the earlier portions of the debate:
Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor takes on philosopher David Papineau Round 1. In the debate, Egnor begins by offering three fundamental reasons why the mind is not the brain. Neuroscience caused Egnor to honestly doubt Papineau’s materialist perspective that the mind is simply what the brain does.
Round 2: Philosopher Papineau replies to neurosurgeon Egnor. Dr. Papineau is considered to be one of the best defenders of naturalism (nature is all there is), often called “materialism.” Papineau: Mental processes, including conscious processes, are one in the same as physical processes. I’m curious about how Michael Egnor would answer it.
Round 3: Egnor vs Papineau: The Big Bang has no natural beginning. In the debate between theistic neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and naturalist philosopher David Papineau, the question gets round to the origin of the universe itself. Egnor maintains that the Big Bang, which is held to have created the universe, is an effect with no physical cause. Papineau agrees.
Round 4: Egnor vs. Papineau Egnor defends the mind vs. the brain
Round 4: Philosopher David Papineau does not feel that neurosurgeon Michael Egnor is being “entirely helpful” at this point… It became quite the dustup actually. Egnor deals with the brain as an organ, not a theory, and doesn’t see it as equivalent to the mind. Papineau differs.
Round 5: Can traditional philosophy help us understand mind vs. brain? Michael Egnor asks us to look back to the traditional idea that the soul is the “form” of the body. In the Western world, the traditional view of the soul originated with Greek philosophers, chiefly Aristotle and Plato.
Also: Philosopher: Consciousness Is Not a Problem. Dualism Is! He says that consciousness is just “brain processes that feel like something” Physicalist David Papineau argues that consciousness “seems mysterious not because of any hidden essence, but only because we think about it in a special way.” In short, it’s all in our heads. But wait, say others, the hard problem of consciousness is not so easily dismissed.