Operationism, probability and quantum mechanics

Foundations of Science 1 (1):99-118 (1995)
This paper investigates the kind of empiricism combined with an operationalist perspective that, in the first decades of our Century, gave rise to a turning point in theoretical physics and in probability theory. While quantum mechanics was taking shape, the classical (Laplacian) interpretation of probability gave way to two divergent perspectives: frequentism and subjectivism. Frequentism gained wide acceptance among theoretical physicists. Subjectivism, on the other hand, was never held to be a serious candidate for application to physical theories, despite the fact that its philosophical back-ground strongly resembles that underlying quantum mechanics, at least according to the Copenhagen interpretation. The reasons for this are explored.
Keywords Operationism  Quantum mechanics  Frequentism  Subjectivism
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DOI 10.1007/BF00208727
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