A New Approach to Quantum Logic


Abstract
The idea of a 'logic of quantum mechanics' or quantum logic was originally suggested by Birkhoff and von Neumann in their pioneering paper [1936]. Since that time there has been much argument about whether, or in what sense, quantum 'logic' can be actually considered a true logic (see, e.g. Bell and Hallett [1982], Dummett [1976], Gardner [1971]) and, if so, how it is to be distinguished from classical logic. In this paper I put forward a simple and natural semantical framework for quantum logic which reveals its difference from classical logic in a strikingly intuitive way, viz. through the fact that quantum logic admits (suitably formulated versions of) the characteristic quantum-mechanical notions of superposition and incompatibility of attributes. That is, precisely the features that distinguish quantum from classical physics also serve, within this framework, to distinguish quantum from classical logic. Some light is shed on the question of whether quantum logic is a genuine logical system by introducing a natural entailment relation for quantum-logical formulas with the implication symbol. The novelty is that, although implication behaves as it should (i.e. the 'deduction theorem' holds), the order of introduction of premises is significant. The fact that a reasonable entailment relation can be formulated for quantum logic supports the view that it is a genuine logical system and not merely an algebraic formalism
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DOI 10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjps/37.1.83
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