The conspicuous similarities between interpretive strategies in classical statistical mechanics and in quantum mechanics may be grounded on their employment of common implementations of probability. The objective probabilities which represent the underlying stochasticity of these theories can be naturally associated with three of their common formal features: initial conditions, dynamics, and observables. Various well-known interpretations of the two theories line up with particular choices among these three ways of implementing probability. This perspective has significant application to debates on primitive ontology and to the quantum measurement problem.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Thanks to Bryan Roberts, Mikl?s R?dei, and John Dougherty for valuable discussions related to this paper. Some of this material was presented at a meeting of the Sigma Club in London and at the Sixth European Philosophy of Science Association Biennial Meeting in Exeter; I thank the audiences at these talks, as well as this journal?s referees for their comments and suggestions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- History and Philosophy of Science