Probability and Quantum Mechanics

5th Tuebingen Summer School in the History and Philosophy of Science - 2016

Five lectures by Guido Bacciagaluppi, Utrecht University

With a keynote lecture by Christopher A. Fuchs, University of Massachusetts Boston

Tuebingen, August 1st – 5th, 2016

Call for Applications

Application deadline: June 10th, 2016


We kindly invite graduate students and junior scientists of philosophy, physics and mathematics, to apply for the 5th Forum Scientiarum's International Interdisciplinary Summer School in the History and Philosophy of Science

The Summer School takes place in Tuebingen (Germany), a classical university town with a charming old town center, from Monday, August 1st to Friday, August 5th, 2016.


Probability and quantum mechanics have been closely related from an early date. This summer school will look at various historical and philosophical aspects of this relation. On the historical side, we shall trace the development of the 'statistical interpretation' as developed by Born (and Heisenberg) in 1926-27, and address the usually misunderstood topic of how Everett himself thought of probability in his theory. On the philosophical side, we shall discuss the relation between interpretations of probability and interpretations of quantum mechanics (including among others the Deutsch-Wallace decision-theoretic approach to probability in Everett, and Chris Fuchs's radically subjectivist 'qBism'), and possible lessons for the philosophy of probability. We shall also discuss the relation between probability and arrow of time in quantum mechanics (with particular reference to decoherence). Finally, we shall look at the notion of contextuality and at formal and conceptual relations between classical probability, quantum probability, and 'generalised probability' (possibly with applications beyond quantum mechanics).

The Lecturer

Guido Bacciagaluppi is Associate Professor in the Foundations of the Natural Sciences at Utrecht University. He studied physics and mathematics at ETH Zurich. After obtaining a master’s degree in history and philosophy of science at Cambridge (under Michael Redhead), he got his Ph.D. in philosophy, also at Cambridge (under Jeremy Butterfield). He worked in Oxford, Berkeley, Freiburg, Sydney, Paris and Aberdeen. His research interests lie mainly in the philosophy of physics. He worked widely in various approaches to the foundations of quantum mechanics, as well as in the philosophy of probability and in the history of quantum mechanics. Among his publications: Quantum Theory at the Crossroads. Reconsidering the 1927 Solvay Conference, with Antony Valentini

The Keynote Speaker

Christopher A. Fuchs is Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the developer and main proponent of QBism, an interpretation of quantum mechanics grounded in the subjective or personalist conception of probability. He was one of the authors of the 1998 paper on quantum teleportation, recognized by Science as one of the 'Top 10 Breakthroughs of the Year'. In 2007 Fuchs was awarded with the International Quantum Communication Award. He has been Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2012. Among his publications on quantum-foundational issues: Coming of Age with Quantum Information: Notes on a Paulian Idea. Fuchs has an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations.


To apply for the international summer school, participants need to submit an online application form. Deadline for the complete applications is June 10, 2016. A letter of admission will reach successful applicants via email by June 20th, 2016.

There is no program fee. The Forum Scientiarum may provide participants with limited grants for covering part of their travel expenses and will assist participants finding inexpensive accommodation.

For further information please contact:

Marco Giovanelli