Unsharp Quantum Reality

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Busch, Paul; Jaeger, Gregg
preprint description
The positive operator (valued) measures (POMs) allow one to generalize the notion of observable beyond the traditional one based on projection valued measures (PVMs). Here, we argue that this generalized conception of observable enables a consistent notion of unsharp reality and with it a concept of joint properties. A property manifests itself as an element of unsharp reality by its power, or tendency, of becoming actual or actualizing a specific measurement outcome, where this tendency of actualization is quantified by the associated quantum probability. The resulting single-case interpretation of probability as a degree of reality will be explained in detail and its role in addressing the tensions between quantum and classical accounts of the physical world will be elucidated. It will be shown that potentiality can be viewed as a causal agency that evolves in a well-defined way.