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On the Consistency of the Consistent Histories Approach to Quantum Mechanics

Okon, Elias and Sudarsky, Daniel (2013) On the Consistency of the Consistent Histories Approach to Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The Consistent Histories (CH) formalism aims at a quantum mechanical framework for the universe as a whole. CH stresses the importance of histories for quantum mechanics, as opposed to measurements, and maintains that a satisfactory formulation of quantum mechanics allows one to assign probabilities to alternative histories of the universe. It further proposes that each realm, that is, each set of histories to which probabilities can be assigned, provides a valid quantum-mechanical account, but that different realms can be mutually incompatible. Finally, some of its proponents offer an "evolutionary" explanation of our existence in the universe and of our preference for quasiclassical descriptions of nature. The present work questions the validity of claims offered by CH proponents asserting that it solves many interpretational problems in quantum mechanics. In particular, we point out that the interpretation of the framework leaves vague two crucial points, namely, whether realms are fixed or chosen and the link between measurements and histories. Our claim is that by doing so, CH overlooks the main interpretational problems of quantum mechanics. Furthermore, we challenge the evolutionary explanation offered and we critically examine the proposed notion of a realm-dependent reality.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Okon, Eliaseokon@filosoficas.unam.mx
Sudarsky, Danielsudarsky@nucleares.unam.mx
Keywords: Consistent Histories; Decoherent Histories; Consistent Quantum Theory; Quantum Cosmology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Elias Okon
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2013 16:45
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2013 14:16
Item ID: 9522
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 11 January 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9522

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