About this topic
Summary All approaches to quantum theory need to make sense of the objective probabilities which apparently correspond to the square of the amplitudes of components of the quantum state.
Key works The Born rule connecting probabilities and squared-amplitudes was first formulated in Born 1926. The interpretation of probabilities varies widely across different approaches to quantum mechanics: as ever, Bell 2004 is indispensable in setting out the main options. Wallace 2012 provides an authoritative treatment of probability in Everettian QM.
Introductions Dickson 2011
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  1. Is Quantum Mechanics an Island in Theoryspace?Scott Aaronson - unknown
    This paper investigates what happens if we change quantum mechanics in several ways. The main results are as follows. First, if we replace the 2-norm by some other p-norm, then there are no nontrivial norm-preserving linear maps. Second, if we relax the demand that norm be preserved, we end up with a theory that allows rapid solution of hard computational problems known as PP-complete problems (as well as superluminal signalling). And third, if we restrict amplitudes to be real, we run (...)
  2. The Quantum Probabilistic Approach to the Foundations of Quantum Theory: Urns and Chamaleons.Luigi Accardi - 1999 - In Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara (ed.), Language, Quantum, Music. pp. 95--104.
  3. Quantum Probability and the Foundations of Quantum Theory.Luigi Accardi - 1990 - In Roger Cooke & Domenico Costantini (eds.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Springer Verlag. pp. 119-147.
    The point of view advocated, in the last ten years, by quantum probability about the foundations of quantum mechanics, is based on the investigation of the mathematical consequences of a deep and elementary idea developed by the founding fathers of quantum mechanics and accepted nowadays as a truism by most physicists, namely: one should be careful when applying the rules derived from the experience of macroscopic physics to experiments which are mutually incompatible in the sense of quantum mechanics.
  4. Quantum Markov Model for Data From Shafir-Tversky Experiments in Cognitive Psychology.Luigi Accardi, Andrei Khrennikov & Masanori Ohya - 2009 - In Institute of Physics Krzysztof Stefanski (ed.), Open Systems and Information Dynamics. World Scientific Publishing Company. pp. 16--04.
  5. On the Origin of Probabilities in Quantum Mechanics: Creative and Contextual Aspects.Diederik Aerts, Bob Coecke & Sonja Smets - 1999 - In S. Smets J. P. Van Bendegem G. C. Cornelis (ed.), Metadebates on Science. Vub-Press & Kluwer. pp. 291--302.
  6. Applications of Quantum Statistics in Psychological Studies of Decision Processes.Diedrik Aerts & Sven Aerts - 1995 - Foundations of Science 1 (1):85-97.
    We present a new approach to the old problem of how to incorporate the role of the observer in statistics. We show classical probability theory to be inadequate for this task and take refuge in the epsilon-model, which is the only model known to us caapble of handling situations between quantum and classical statistics. An example is worked out and some problems are discussed as to the new viewpoint that emanates from our approach.
  7. Analysis of Quantum Probability Theory. II.James Aken - 1986 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 15 (3):333 - 367.
  8. Analysis of Quantum Probability Theory. I.James Aken - 1985 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 14 (3):267 - 296.
  9. Quantum Mechanics and the Question of Determinism in Science.C. O. Akpan - 2005 - Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):72-79.
    Classical science and in fact Post-Newtonian science up till the early twentieth century were mired in a deterministic interpretation of realities. The deterministic hypothesis in science holds that everything in nature has a cause and if one could know the antecedent causes, he could predict the future with certainty. But quantum mechanics holds that sub-atomic particles, though the ultimate materials from which all the complexity of existence in the universe emerges, do not obey deterministic laws, hence, their activities are causally (...)
  10. Stochastic Processes in Quantum Theory and Statistical Physics: Proceedings of the International Workshop Held in Marseille, France, June 29-July 4, 1981. [REVIEW]Sergio Albeverio, Philippe Combe & M. Sirugue-Collin (eds.) - 1982 - Springer Verlag.
  11. Classical Versus Quantum Probability in Sequential Measurements.Charis Anastopoulos - 2006 - Foundations of Physics 36 (11):1601-1661.
    We demonstrate in this paper that the probabilities for sequential measurements have features very different from those of single-time measurements. First, they cannot be modelled by a classical stochastic process. Second, they are contextual, namely they depend strongly on the specific measurement scheme through which they are determined. We construct Positive-Operator-Valued measures (POVM) that provide such probabilities. For observables with continuous spectrum, the constructed POVMs depend strongly on the resolution of the measurement device, a conclusion that persists even if we (...)
  12. Facts, Values and Quanta.D. M. Appleby - 2005 - Foundations of Physics 35 (4):627-668.
    Quantum mechanics is a fundamentally probabilistic theory (at least so far as the empirical predictions are concerned). It follows that, if one wants to properly understand quantum mechanics, it is essential to clearly understand the meaning of probability statements. The interpretation of probability has excited nearly as much philosophical controversy as the interpretation of quantum mechanics. 20th century physicists have mostly adopted a frequentist conception. In this paper it is argued that we ought, instead, to adopt a logical or Bayesian (...)
  13. Properties of QBist State Spaces.D. M. Appleby, Åsa Ericsson & Christopher A. Fuchs - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (3):564-579.
    Every quantum state can be represented as a probability distribution over the outcomes of an informationally complete measurement. But not all probability distributions correspond to quantum states. Quantum state space may thus be thought of as a restricted subset of all potentially available probabilities. A recent publication (Fuchs and Schack, arXiv:0906.2187v1, 2009) advocates such a representation using symmetric informationally complete (SIC) measurements. Building upon this work we study how this subset—quantum-state space—might be characterized. Our leading characteristic is that the inner (...)
  14. Should We Fear Quantum Torment?István Aranyosi - 2012 - Ratio 25 (3):249-259.
    The prospect, in terms of subjective expectations, of immortality under the no-collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics is certain, as pointed out by several authors, both physicists and, more recently, philosophers. The argument, known as quantum suicide, or quantum immortality, has received some critical discussion, but there hasn't been any questioning of David Lewis's point that there is a terrifying corollary to the argument, namely, that we should expect to live forever in a crippled, more and more damaged state, that barely (...)
  15. Linear Momentum Conservation in Coherent Population Trapping: A Case Study for a Quantum Filtering Process. [REVIEW]Alain Aspect & Robin Kaiser - 1990 - Foundations of Physics 20 (12):1413-1428.
    We discuss the question of linear momentum conservation when an atom coupled to a laser field enters into a state which is not an eigenstate of the linear momentum. Such a situation happens in the recently demonstrated laser cooling of atoms by velocity selective coherent population trapping. We show that this process can be understood as a filtering of the atomic state by the laser field taken as a classical measuring apparatus. In a different approach, the laser field can be (...)
  16. The Light of Quantum Mechanics.D. Atkinson - 1998 - Dialectica 52 (2):103–126.
    It is argued that while classical probability theory, as it is encapsulated in the axioms of Kolmogorov and in his criterion for the independence of two events, can consistently be employed in quantum mechanics, this can only be accomplished at an exorbitant price. By considering rst the classic two-slit experiment, and then the passage of one photon through three polarizers, the applicability of Kolmogorov's last axiom is called into question, but the standard rebu of the Copenhagen interpretation is shown to (...)
  17. Quantum Probability: An Introduction.Guido Bacciagaluppi - unknown
    The topic of probabilty in quantum mechanics is rather vast, and in this article, we shall choose to discuss it from the perspective of whether and in what sense quantum mechanics requires a generalisation of the usual concept of probability. We shall focus on the case of finite-dimensional quantum mechanics, partly for simplicity and partly for ease of generalisation. While we shall largely focus on formal aspects of quantum probability, our discussion will relate also to notorious issues in the interpretation (...)
  18. Insolubility Theorems and EPR Argument.Guido Bacciagaluppi - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):87-100.
    I present a very general and simple argument—based on the no-signalling theorem—showing that within the framework of the unitary Schrödinger equation it is impossible to reproduce the phenomenological description of quantum mechanical measurements (in particular the collapse of the state of the measured system) by assuming a suitable mixed initial state of the apparatus. The thrust of the argument is thus similar to that of the ‘insolubility theorems’ for the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (which, however, focus on the impossibility (...)
  19. Probability, Arrow of Time and Decoherence.Guido Bacciagaluppi - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):439-456.
    This paper relates both to the metaphysics of probability and to the physics of time asymmetry. Using the formalism of decoherent histories, it investigates whether intuitions about intrinsic time directedness that are often associated with probability can be justified in the context of no-collapse approaches to quantum mechanics. The standard (two-vector) approach to time symmetry in the decoherent histories literature is criticised, and an alternative approach is proposed, based on two decoherence conditions ('forwards' and 'backwards') within the one-vector formalism. In (...)
  20. Making Sense of Approximate Decoherence.Guido Bacciagaluppi & Meir Hemmo - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:345 - 354.
    In realistic situations where a macroscopic system interacts with an external environment, decoherence of the quantum state, as derived in the decoherence approach, is only approximate. We argue that this can still give rise to facts, provided that during the decoherence process states that are, respectively, always close to eigenvectors of pointer position and record observable are correlated. We show in a model that this is always the case.
  21. Is Life Improbable?John C. Baez - 1989 - Foundations of Physics 19 (1):91-95.
    E. P. Wigner 's argument that the probability of the existence of self-reproducing units, e.g., organisms, is zero according to standard quantum theory is stated and analyzed. Theorems are presented which indicate that Wigner 's mathematical result in fact should not be interpreted as asserting the improbability of self-reproducing units.
  22. Beyond Measure: Modern Physics, Philosophy, and the Meaning of Quantum Theory.J. E. Baggott - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Quantum theory is one the most important and successful theories of modern physical science. It has been estimated that its principles form the basis for about 30 per cent of the world's manufacturing economy. This is all the more remarkable because quantum theory is a theory that nobody understands. The meaning of Quantum Theory introduces science students to the theory's fundamental conceptual and philosophical problems, and the basis of its non-understandability. It does this with the barest minimum of jargon and (...)
  23. Measurement Outcomes and Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics.David Baker - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):153-169.
    The decision-theoretic account of probability in the Everett or many-worlds interpretation, advanced by David Deutsch and David Wallace, is shown to be circular. Talk of probability in Everett presumes the existence of a preferred basis to identify measurement outcomes for the probabilities to range over. But the existence of a preferred basis can only be established by the process of decoherence, which is itself probabilistic.
  24. Limitations of the Projection Postulate.L. E. Ballentine - 1990 - Foundations of Physics 20 (11):1329-1343.
    The projection postulate, which prescribes “collapse of the state vector” upon measurement, is not an essential part of quantum mechanics. Rather it is only an optional discarding of certain branches of the state vector that are expected to be irrelevant for the purpose at hand. However, its use is hazardous, and there are examples of repeated measurements for which the conventional application of the projection postulate leads to incorrect results.
  25. Can the Statistical Postulate of Quantum Theory Be Derived?—A Critique of the Many-Universes Interpretation.L. E. Ballentine - 1973 - Foundations of Physics 3 (2):229-240.
    The attempt to derive (rather than assume) the statistical postulate of quantum theory from the many-universes interpretation of Everett and De Witt is analyzed The many-universes interpretation is found to be neither necessary nor sufficient for the task.
  26. Combining Relativity and Quantum Mechanics: Schrödinger's Interpretation of Ψ. [REVIEW]A. O. Barut - 1988 - Foundations of Physics 18 (1):95-105.
    The incongruence between quantum theory and relativity theory is traced to the probability interpretation of the former. The classical continium interpretation of ψ removes the difficulty. How quantum properties of matter and light, and in particular the radiative problems, like spontaneous emission and Lamb shift, may be accounted in a first quantized Maxwell-Dirac system is discussed.
  27. Joint Probabilities of Noncommuting Operators and Incompleteness of Quantum Mechanics.A. O. Barut, M. Božić & Z. Marić - 1988 - Foundations of Physics 18 (10):999-1012.
    We use joint probabilities to analyze the EPR argument in the Bohm's example of spins.(1) The properties of distribution functions for two, three, or more noncommuting spin components are explicitly studied and their limitations are pointed out. Within the statistical ensemble interpretation of quantum theory (where only statements about repeated events can be made), the incompleteness of quantum theory does not follow, as the consistent use of joint probabilities shows. This does not exclude a completion of quantum mechanics, going beyond (...)
  28. Propensity, Probability, and Quantum Physics.J. Barretto Bastos Filho & F. Selleri - 1995 - Foundations of Physics 25 (5):701-716.
    Popper's idea of propensities constituting the physical background of predictable probabilities is reviewed and developed by introducing a suitable formalism compatible with standard probability calculus and with its frequency interpretation. Quantum statistical ensembles described as pure cases (“eigenstates”) are shown to be necessarily not homogeneous if propensities are actually at work in nature. An extension of the theory to EPR experiments with local propensities leads to a new and more general proof of Bell's theorem. No joint probabilities for incompatible observables (...)
  29. Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics: Collected Papers on Quantum Philosophy.J. S. Bell - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book comprises all of John Bell's published and unpublished papers in the field of quantum mechanics, including two papers that appeared after the first edition was published. It also contains a preface written for the first edition, and an introduction by Alain Aspect that puts into context Bell's great contribution to the quantum philosophy debate. One of the leading expositors and interpreters of modern quantum theory, John Bell played a major role in the development of our current understanding of (...)
  30. Six Possible Worlds of Quantum Mechanics.J. S. Bell - 1992 - Foundations of Physics 22 (10):1201-1215.
  31. 6 Possible Worlds of Quantum-Mechanics (Reprinted From Possible Worlds in Humanities Arts and Sciences, Pg 359-373, 1989). [REVIEW]Js Bell - 1992 - Foundations of Physics 22 (10):1201-1215.
  32. Quantum Mechanics and Operational Probability Theory.E. G. Beltrametti & S. Bugajski - 2002 - Foundations of Science 7 (1-2):197-212.
    We discuss a generalization of the standard notion of probability space and show that the emerging framework, to be called operational probability theory, can be considered as underlying quantal theories. The proposed framework makes special reference to the convex structure of states and to a family of observables which is wider than the familiar set of random variables: it appears as an alternative to the known algebraic approach to quantum probability.
  33. Remarks on Two-Slit Probabilities.E. G. Beltrametti & S. Bugajski - 2000 - Foundations of Physics 30 (9):1415-1429.
    The probability pattern emerging in two-slit experiments is a typical quantum feature whose essential ingredients are examined by translating them into the spin- $ \frac{1}{2} $ formalism. In view of the existence of extensions of quantum theory preserving some classical structure, we discuss how the two-slit probabilities behave under such extensions. We consider a generalization of the standard classical probability theory, to be called operational probability theory, that turns out to host the so called quantum probabilities.
  34. On Procedures for the Measurement of Questions in Quantum Mechanics.Paul Benioff - 1975 - Foundations of Physics 5 (2):251-255.
    It is shown that there exist observablesA and Borel setsE such that the procedure “measureA and give as output the number 1 (0) if theA measurement outcome is (is not) inE” does not correspond to a measurement of the proposition observable ℰA(E) usually assigned to such procedures. This result is discussed in terms of limitations on choice powers of observers.
  35. On Definitions of Validity Applied to Quantum Theories.Paul Benioff - 1973 - Foundations of Physics 3 (3):359-379.
    In this work, quantum theories are considered which consist in essence of a map from state preparation proceduresw to states and a map from decision proceduresQ to probability operator measures. Two definitions of validity, similar to that given elsewhere, are given and compared for these theories. One definition is given in terms of one carrying out of somew followed by someQ, denoted by(Q, w). The other is given in terms of infinite repetitions(Q, w) ofw followed byQ. Both definitions are discussed (...)
  36. Addendum to Statistical Inference and Quantum Mechanical Measurement.Rodney W. Benoist, Jean-Paul Marchand & Wolfgang Yourgrau - 1978 - Foundations of Physics 8 (1-2):117-118.
  37. Statistical Inference and Quantum Mechanical Measurement.Rodney W. Benoist, Jean-Paul Marchand & Wolfgang Yourgrau - 1977 - Foundations of Physics 7 (11-12):827-833.
    We analyze the quantum mechanical measuring process from the standpoint of information theory. Statistical inference is used in order to define the most likely state of the measured system that is compatible with the readings of the measuring instrument and the a priori information about the correlations between the system and the instrument. This approach has the advantage that no reference to the time evolution of the combined system need be made. It must, however, be emphasized that the result is (...)
  38. A Note on Quantum Theory and Metaphysics.Carlton W. Berend - 1942 - Journal of Philosophy 39 (22):608-611.
  39. On Predictions in Retro-Causal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.Joseph Berkovitz - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):709-735.
  40. On Causal Loops in the Quantum Realm.Joseph Berkovitz - 2002 - In T. Placek & J. Butterfield (eds.), Non-Locality and Modality. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 235--257.
  41. What Econometrics Cannot Teach Quantum Mechanics.Joseph Berkovitz - 1995 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 26 (2):163-200.
    Cartwright and Humphreys have suggested theories of probabilistic causation for singular events, which are based on modifications of traditional causal linear modelling. On the basis of her theory, Cartwright offered an allegedly local, and non-factorizable, common-cause model for the EPR experiment. In this paper I consider Cartwright's and Humphreys' theories. I argue that, provided plausible assumptions obtain, local models for EPR in the framework of these theories are committed to Bell inequalities, which are violated by experiment.
  42. Accardi on Quantum Theory and the "Fifth Axiom" of Probability.Hans Den Bervang, Dick Hoekzema & Hans Radder - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (1):149-.
    In this paper we investigate Accardi's claim that the "quantum paradoxes" have their roots in probability theory and that, in particular, they can be evaded by giving up Bayes' rule, concerning the relation between composite and conditional probabilities. We reach the conclusion that, although it may be possible to give up Bayes' rule and define conditional probabilities differently, this contributes nothing to solving the philosophical problems which surround quantum mechanics.
  43. Quantum Probability in Logical Space.John C. Bigelow - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):223-243.
    Probability measures can be constructed using the measure-theoretic techniques of Caratheodory and Hausdorff. Under these constructions one obtains first an outer measure over "events" or "propositions." Then, if one restricts this outer measure to the measurable propositions, one finally obtains a classical probability theory. What I argue is that outer measures can also be used to yield the structures of probability theories in quantum mechanics, provided we permit them to range over at least some unmeasurable propositions. I thereby show that (...)
  44. The Concept of Measurement and Time Symmetry in Quantum Mechanics.M. Bitbol - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (3):349-375.
    The formal time symmetry of the quantum measurement process is extensively discussed. Then, the origin of the alleged association between a fixed temporal direction and quantum measurements is investigated. It is shown that some features of such an association might arise from epistemological rather than purely physical assumptions. In particular, it is brought out that a sequence of statements bearing on quantum measurements may display intrinsic asymmetric properties, irrespective of the location of corresponding measurements in time t of the Schrodinger (...)
  45. Traces of Objectivity: Causality and Probabilities in Quantum Physics.Michel Bitbol - 2011 - Diogenes 58 (4):30-57.
    It is pointed out that the probabilistic character of a theory does not indicate by itself a distancing with respect to the norms of objectification. Instead, the very structure of the calculation of probabilities utilised by this theory is capable of bearing the trace of a constitution of objectivity in Kant’s sense. Accordingly, the procedure of the constitution of objectivity is first studied in standard and in quantum cases with due reference to modern cognitive science. Then, an examination of the (...)
  46. Quantum Statistical Determinism.Eftichios Bitsakis - 1988 - Foundations of Physics 18 (3):331-355.
    This paper attempts to analyze the concept of quantum statistical determinism. This is done after we have clarified the epistemic difference between causality and determinism and discussed the content of classical forms of determinism—mechanical and dynamical. Quantum statistical determinism transcends the classical forms, for it expresses the multiple potentialities of quantum systems. The whole argument is consistent with a statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics.
  47. Quantum Cognition and Bounded Rationality.Reinhard Blutner & Peter Beim Graben - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    We consider several puzzles of bounded rationality. These include the Allais- and Ellsberg paradox, the disjunction effect, and related puzzles. We argue that the present account of quantum cognition—taking quantum probabilities rather than classical probabilities—can give a more systematic description of these puzzles than the alternate treatments in the traditional frameworks of bounded rationality. Unfortunately, the quantum probabilistic treatment does not always provide a deeper understanding and a true explanation of these puzzles. One reason is that quantum approaches introduce additional (...)
  48. Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?Niels Bohr - 1935 - Physical Review 48 (696--702):696--702.
  49. Experiment-Dependent Priors in Psychology and Physics.Robert F. Bordley & Joseph B. Kadane - 1999 - Theory and Decision 47 (3):213-227.
    Sometimes conducting an experiment to ascertain the state of a system changes the state of the system being measured. Kahneman & Tversky modelled this effect with ‘support theory’. Quantum physics models this effect with probability amplitude mechanics. As this paper shows, probability amplitude mechanics is similar to support theory. Additionally, Viscusi's proposed generalized expected utility model has an analogy in quantum mechanics.
  50. Zur Quantenmechanik der Stoßvorgänge.Max Born - 1926 - Zeitschrift für Physik 37 (12):863-867.
    Durch eine Untersuchung der Stoßvorgänge wird die Auffassung entwickelt, daß die Quantenmechanik in der Schrödingerschen Form nicht nur die stationären Zustände, sondern auch die Quantensprünge zu beschreiben gestattet.
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