Quantum probability and many worlds

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):333-350 (2007)
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Abstract

We discuss the meaning of probabilities in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. We start by presenting very briefly the many worlds theory, how the problem of probability arises, and some unsuccessful attempts to solve it in the past. Then we criticize a recent attempt by Deutsch to derive the quantum mechanical probabilities from the nonprobabilistic parts of quantum mechanics and classical decision theory. We further argue that the Born probability does not make sense even as an additional probability rule in the many worlds theory. Our conclusion is that the many worlds theory fails to account for the probabilistic statements of standard (collapse) quantum mechanics.

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Meir Hemmo
University of Haifa

Citations of this work

In defence of the self-location uncertainty account of probability in the many-worlds interpretation.Kelvin J. McQueen & Lev Vaidman - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66 (C):14-23.
Entropy - A Guide for the Perplexed.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-142.
Everett and evidence.Hilary Greaves & Wayne Myrvold - 2010 - In Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory & Reality. Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

Truth and probability.Frank Ramsey - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. New York: Routledge. pp. 52-94.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Synthese 11 (1):86-89.
The Quantum Mechanics of Minds and Worlds.Jeffrey Alan Barrett - 1999 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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