Probability in Everettian quantum mechanics

Publication Year:
2005
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2716
Author(s):
Peter J. Lewis
preprint description
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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