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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2016 May 28;374(2068). pii: 20150233. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0233.

Quantum theory as plausible reasoning applied to data obtained by robust experiments.

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Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
Institute of Molecules and Materials, Radboud University, 6525 ED Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Institute for Advanced Simulation, Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany Department of Physics, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany.


We review recent work that employs the framework of logical inference to establish a bridge between data gathered through experiments and their objective description in terms of human-made concepts. It is shown that logical inference applied to experiments for which the observed events are independent and for which the frequency distribution of these events is robust with respect to small changes of the conditions under which the experiments are carried out yields, without introducing any concept of quantum theory, the quantum theoretical description in terms of the Schrödinger or the Pauli equation, the Stern-Gerlach or Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bohm experiments. The extraordinary descriptive power of quantum theory then follows from the fact that it is plausible reasoning, that is common sense, applied to reproducible and robust experimental data.


inductive logic; logical inference; probability theory; quantum theory

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