The Probability Puzzle

David Wallace

in The Emergent Multiverse

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199546961
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741418 | DOI:
The Probability Puzzle

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This chapter begins my discussion of probability — generally held to be the most severe difficulty for the Everett interpretation. The chapter argues that since mathematically speaking probability has a natural place in the Everett interpretation, any ‘probability problem’ is philosophical in nature. Accordingly, the chapter's strategy is to review various different approaches to understanding probability — in particular, those based on long-run frequencies, on betting preferences, and on symmetries — and to argue that there are no problems with any of these approaches that are specific to Everettian quantum theory. The chapter concludes by arguing that, if probability is to be understood in terms of symmetry, it actually makes more sense in quantum than in classical physics. The chapter concludes with a sketch proof of the quantum probability rule on the basis of symmetry.

Keywords: Everett interpretation; many worlds; probability in quantum theory

Chapter.  17599 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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