According to the Many Minds interpretation of quantum mechanics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-minds_interpretation), the distinction between worlds in the Many Worlds interpretation should be made at the level of the mind of an individual observer. I have read that, in this case, each observer's mental states would be realized in at least one universe. According to the Many Minds interpretation all that matters is the mind and its mental states

When I found about this interpretation I though it was interesting, although I know it has no empirical support yet. But then I thought of something strange that I think would happen if this interpretation was true and I do not know if my idea is correct.

The thing is: When we observe something (e.g. an apple), a set of neurons are activated and they form a mental state representing the observation of that apple. People with mental illnesses (such as schizophrenia) tend to visualize things that do not really exist (for example, if a patient visualizes a monster, the mental states that would correspond to the observation of that monster are activated. Even if the monster does not exist, the mental states corresponding to that observation are activated, and therefore, the patient would really believe that there is a monster in front of it, since that "observation" would be indistinguishable from an observation of an actual thing)

Therefore, if Many-Minds considers that the observer is fundamental and that mental states corresponding to different observations are realized in different universes, then, would a schizophrenic patient's hallucinations actually exist in different universes? I mean, if this interpretation considers that the different mental states corresponding to what we observe actually indicates what is real, then, if a person suffers hallucinations, wouldn't it meant that these "observations" of those illusions could exist in different universes? That when a schizophrenic patient "sees" a monster, that monster could actually exist in some universe (since it corresponds to a mental state of an "observation")?

2 Answers 2


This is non sequitur. From "Every mental state can exist in some universe", it does not follow that "Any delusional mental state has in fact a real cause in at least one universe". At most, you can infer "There is at least one universe where my mental state is to see an imaginary monster". But obviously you're not in that universe, so why care at all ?

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    I didn't know the many minds interpretation. It looks fishy from the get go: what happened back when there was no mind to perceive anything happen, which is a time span covering most of the universe existence ?
    – armand
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 11:29
  • yep, that too, though honestly... when I first learned about "intersubjectivity", I felt something became broken inside -- like the capacity to be surprised ever again... or was it my faith in humanity? I can't tell, I just don't care about things anymore... bon appetite? Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 13:29

This is why the many worlds hypothesis gets the “blank stare response”. Sit for a while and think of all the absurd possibilities that would exist. Anything you can get think of really exists in some universe. Every movie ever made actually happens for real in some universe. There might be a universe where everyone on earth stands up all at once and starts screaming and running around, ripping their clothes off, killing people, etc. States of eternal agony, injustice, and totally evil, hell. Universes where you murder your whole family for no apparent reason. Monsters. Superheroes. They all exist in the other universes. Universes where it just so happens that you are some kind of mutant who doesn’t grow old or die. Universes where I win the powerball every time I play. The absurdities are endless.

  • hahaha, love the sarcasm -- any constructive suggestions tho?.. maybe? Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 12:31
  • ... love the name too! Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 12:38
  • ... and while you are finalizing your response I'd indulge myself -- and only because I'm a huge fan of many-worlds myself -- to recognize, again, that we tend to unduly complicate this great interpretation. Like, if you think about it, MWO would work just as well w/o, the plurality actually happening. I mean just as well for us, but the rest of the many worlds don't actually need to get created... and suffer like this., you know? Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 13:07
  • Sorry, I was not meaning to be facetious. It seemed to follow from it. These are all possible worlds. While they may be improbable in this world, they are possible arrangements of matter in the universe. When you get into infinity, then they may be actual. They must love me in the worlds where I win the Powerball every time. :) Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 22:28
  • Also your point about arrangements of matter in the brain creating possible realities. Check out the many minds interpretation of QM in David Albert's book Quantum Mechanics and Experience. If that's the case then the possible realities of experience may also be endless. Even in this world. Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 22:32

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