Advertisement

Synthese

, Volume 191, Issue 18, pp 4315–4352 | Cite as

Causal Decision Theory and EPR correlations

Article

Abstract

The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction to show that anyone who gives any of the three hypotheses any non-zero credence has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. However, we concede that no version of the Many Worlds Interpretation (Vaidman, in Zalta, E.N. (ed.), Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2014) gives rise to the conflicts that we point out.

Keywords

Bell’s theorem Decision Theory Counterfactuals Many worlds interpretation 

References

  1. Ahmed, A. (2014). Evidence, decision and causality. Cambridge: CUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albert, D. Z., & Loewer, B. (1988). Interpreting the many worlds interpretation. Synthese, 77, 195–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell, J. S. (1977, February). Free variables and local causality. Epistemological Letters. Reprinted in his Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics (2nd ed., pp. 232–248). Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar
  4. Bell, J. S. (1990). La nouvelle cuisine. In A. Sarlemijn & P. Kroes (Eds.), Between science and technology (pp. 97–115). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berkeley, G. (1985) [1710]. In M. Ayers (Ed.), Philosophical works. London: Everyman.Google Scholar
  6. Berkovitz, J. (1995). Quantum nonlocality: An analysis of the implications of Bell’s theorem and quantum correlations for nonlocality. Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  7. Berlin, I. (1999). Empirical propositions and hypothetical statements. In H. Hardy (Ed.), Concepts and categories: Philosophical essays. London: Pimlico.Google Scholar
  8. Cavalcanti, E. (2010). Causation, decision theory and Bell’s theorem: A quantum analogue of the Newcomb problem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 61, 569–597.Google Scholar
  9. Clauser, J. F., Horne, M. A., Shimony, A., & Holt, R. A. (1969). Proposed experiment to test local hidden-variable theories. Physical Review Letters, 23, 880–884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deutsch, D. (1999). Quantum theory of probability and decisions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 455, 3129–3137.Google Scholar
  11. Dummett, M. A. E. (1976). What is a theory of meaning? (II) In G. Evans & J. McDowell (Eds.), Truth and meaning. Oxford: OUP. Reprinted in Dummett, M. A. E. (1993). The seas of language (pp. 34–93). Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  12. Egan, A. (2007). Some counterexamples to causal decision theory. Philosophical Review, 116, 93–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Evans, G. (1980). Things without the mind. In Z. van Straaten (Ed.), Philosophical subjects: Essays presented to P. F. Strawson. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reprinted in Evans, G. (1985). Collected papers (pp. 249–290). Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  14. Evans, P. W., Price, H., & Wharton, K. B. (2013). A new slant on the EPR–Bell experiment. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 64, 297–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Everett, H. (1957). ‘Relative state’ formulation of quantum mechanics. Reviews of Modern Physics, 29, 454–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Feynman, R. P. (1987). Negative probability. In B. Hiley & F. D. Peat (Eds.), Quantum implications: Essays in honour of David Bohm (pp. 235–248). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Ghirardi, G. C., Rimini, A., & Weber, T. (1986). Unified dynamics for microscopic and macroscopic systems. Physical Review D, 34, 470–491.Google Scholar
  18. Gibbard, A., & Harper, W. (1978). Counterfactuals and two kinds of expected utility. In C. Hooker, J. Leach, & E. McClennen (Eds.), Foundations and applications of decision theory (pp. 125–162). Dordrecht: Riedel. Reprinted in P. Gärdenfors & N.-E. Sahlin (Eds.), Decision, probability and utility (1988). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Greaves, H. (2004). Understanding Deutsch’s probability in a deterministic multiverse. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 35, 423–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hofer-Szabó, G. (2012). Separate common causal explanation and the Bell inequalities. International Journal of Theoretical Physics, 51, 110–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Holland, P. (1993). The quantum theory of motion: An account of the de Broglie–Bohm causal interpretation of quantum mechanics. Cambridge: CUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hume, D. 1949 [1739]. Treatise of human nature. Edited with an analytical index by L. A. Selby-Bigge. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Jeffrey, R. C. (2004). Subjective probability: The real thing. Cambridge: CUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Joyce, J. (1999). Foundations of causal decision theory. Cambridge: CUP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Joyce, J. (2002). Levi on Causal Decision Theory and the possibility of predicting one’s own actions. Philosophical Studies, 110, 69–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Laudisa, F. (2001). Non-locality and theories of causation. In J. Butterfield & T. Placek (Eds.), Non-locality and modality. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  27. Lewis, D. K. (1973). Counterfactuals. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  28. Lewis, D. K. (1976). Survival and Identity. In A. O. Rorty (Ed.), The identities of persons (pp. 17–40). Oakland, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  29. Lewis, D. K. (1981). Causal decision theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 59, 5–30. Reprinted in his Philosophical Papers (Vol. II, pp. 305–339). Oxford: OUP, 1986.Google Scholar
  30. Lewis, P. J. (2006). Conspiracy theories of quantum mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 57, 359–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Maudlin, T. (2002). Quantum non-locality and relativity. Oxford: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mermin, N. (1981). Quantum mysteries for anyone. Journal of Philosophy, 78, 397–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Muckenheim, W. (1982). A resolution of the EPR paradox. Lettere al Nuovo Cimento, 35, 300–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nozick, R. (1969). Newcomb’s problem and two principles of choice. In N. Rescher (Ed.), Essays in honor of Carl G. Hempel (pp. 114–146). Dordrecht: D. Reidel. Reprinted in P. Moser (Ed.), Rationality in action: Contemporary approaches (1990). Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar
  35. Papineau, D. (2001). Causation as a guide to life. In his Roots of reason (pp. 167–212). Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  36. Price, H. (1991). Agency and probabilistic causality. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 42, 157–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Price, H. (1996). A neglected route to realism about quantum mechanics. Mind, 103, 303–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Price, H. (2012). Causation, chance and the rational significance of supernatural evidence. Philosophical Review, 121, 483–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Redhead, M. (1987). Incompleteness, nonlocality, and realism. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  40. Reichenbach, H. (1984). The direction of time. New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  41. Resnik, M. (1987). Choices: An introduction to decision theory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  42. Saunders, S. (1998). Time, quantum mechanics, and probability. Synthese, 114, 373–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Savage, L. J. (1972). The foundations of statistics (2d ed.). New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  44. Shimony, A. (1990). An exposition of Bell’s theorem. In A. I. Miller (Ed.), Sixty-two years of uncertainty (pp. 33–43). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Skyrms, B. (1984). Pragmatics and empiricism. New Haven: Yale UP.Google Scholar
  46. Timpson, C., & Brown, H. R. (2002). Entanglement and relativity. In R. Lupacchini & V. Fano (Eds.), Understanding physical knowledge (pp. 147–166). Bologna: University of Bologna, CLUEB.Google Scholar
  47. Vaidman, L. (2014). Many worlds interpretations of quantum mechanics. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy. Available online at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-manyworlds/. Accessed 10 June 2014.
  48. Van Fraassen, B. C. (1991). Quantum mechanics. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar
  49. Valentini, A. (2002). Signal-locality and subquantum information in deterministic hidden-variables theories. In T. Placek & J. Butterfield (Eds.), Non-locality and modality (pp. 81–103). Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wallace, D. (2002). Everett and structure. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 34, 87–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wallace, D. (2003). Everettian rationality: Defending Deutsch’s approach to probability in the Everett interpretation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 34, 415–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wallace, D. (2012). How to prove the Born rule. In S. Saunders, J. Barrett, A. Kent, & D. Wallace (Eds.), Many worlds? Everett, quantum theory, & reality (pp. 227–263). Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations