Foundations of Science 25 (1):105-120 (2020)
AbstractAccording to a standard view, quantum mechanics is a contextual theory and quantum probability does not satisfy Kolmogorov’s axioms. We show, by considering the macroscopic contexts associated with measurement procedures and the microscopic contexts underlying them, that one can interpret quantum probability as epistemic, despite its non-Kolmogorovian structure. To attain this result we introduce a predicate language L, a classical probability measure on it and a family of classical probability measures on sets of μ-contexts, each element of the family corresponding to a measurement procedure. By using only Kolmogorovian probability measures we can thus define mean conditional probabilities on the set of properties of any quantum system that admit an epistemic interpretation but are not bound to satisfy Kolmogorov’s axioms. The generalized probability measures associated with states in QM can then be seen as special cases of these mean probabilities, which explains how they can be non-classical and provides them with an epistemic interpretation. Moreover, the distinction between compatible and incompatible properties is explained in a natural way, and purely theoretical classical conditional probabilities coexist with empirically testable quantum conditional probabilities.
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