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Quantum probability, intuition, and human rationality

  • Mike Oaksford (a1)


This comment suggests that Pothos & Busmeyer (P&B) do not provide an intuitive rational foundation for quantum probability (QP) theory to parallel standard logic and classical probability (CP) theory. In particular, the intuitive foundation for standard logic, which underpins CP, is the elimination of contradictions – that is, believing p and not-p is bad. Quantum logic, which underpins QP, explicitly denies non-contradiction, which seems deeply counterintuitive for the macroscopic world about which people must reason. I propose a possible resolution in situation theory.



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Barwise, J. & Perry, J. (1983) Situations and attitudes. MIT Press.
Chater, N. & Oaksford, M. (2012) Normative systems: Logic, probability, and rational choice. In: The Oxford handbook of thinking and reasoning, ed. Holyoak, K. & Morrison, R., pp. 1121. Oxford University Press.
Elqayam, S. & Evans, J. St. B. T. (2011) Subtracting “ought” from “is”: Descriptivism versus normativism in the study of human thinking. Behavioral & Brain Sciences 34(5):233–48.
Haack, S. (1974) Deviant logic. Cambridge University Press.
Haack, S. (1978) Philosophy of logics. Cambridge University Press.
Stojanovic, I. (2012) Situation semantics. In: Identity, language, and mind: An introduction to the philosophy of John Perry, ed. Newen, A & Van Riel, R.. CSLI Publications.


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