Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics

Manuscrito 33 (1):285--306 (2010)
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Abstract

The main difficulty facing no-collapse theories of quantum mechanics in the Everettian tradition concerns the role of probability within a theory in which every possible outcome of a measurement actually occurs. The problem is two-fold: First, what do probability claims mean within such a theory? Second, what ensures that the probabilities attached to measurement outcomes match those of standard quantum mechanics? Deutsch has recently proposed a decision-theoretic solution to the second problem, according to which agents are rationally required to weight the outcomes of measurements according to the standard quantum-mechanical probability measure. I show that this argument admits counterexamples, and hence fails to establish the standard probability weighting as a rational requirement.

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Peter J. Lewis
Dartmouth College

Citations of this work

Many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.Lev Vaidman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Four Tails Problems for Dynamical Collapse Theories.Kelvin J. McQueen - 2015 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:10-18.
Probability in the Everett interpretation.Hilary Greaves - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):109–128.
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.
Probability in modal interpretations of quantum mechanics.Dennis Dieks - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):292-310.

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