The Consistent Histories Formalism and the Measurement Problem

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Okon, Elias; Sudarsky, Daniel
preprint description
In response to a recent rebuttal of Okon and Sudarsky (2014) presented in Griffiths (2015), we defend the claim that the Consistent Histories formulation of quantum mechanics does not solve the measurement problem. In order to do so, we argue that satisfactory solutions to the problem must not only not contain anthropomorphic terms (such as measurement or observer) at the fundamental level, but also that applications of the formalism to concrete situations (e.g., measurements) should not require any input not contained in the description of the situation at hand at the fundamental level. Our assertion is that the Consistent Histories formalism does not meet the second criterion. We also argue that the so-called second measurement problem, i.e., the inability to explain how an experimental result is related to a property possessed by the measured system before the measurement took place, is only a pseudo-problem. As a result, we reject the claim, defended in Griffiths (2015), that the capacity of the Consistent Histories formalism to solve it should count as an advantage over other interpretations.