What do we mean when we say that we have a probabilistic theory of some phenomenon?
Of course, we know from experience that probabilistic theories "work", in the sense that they can (somehow) be used to make predictions about the world, they can be considered to be refuted under appropriate circumstances and they generally appear to be subject to the same kinds of principles that govern other kinds of explanations of the world. The Ising model predicts the ferromagnetic phase transition, scattering amplitude computations of quantum field theories predict the rates of transition between different quantum states, and I can make impressively sharp predictions of the ensemble properties of a long sequence of coin tosses by using results such as the central limit theorem. Regardless, there seem to be a foundational problem at the center of the whole enterprise of probabilistic theorizing - the construction of what is sometimes called "an interpretation of the probability calculus" in the philosophical literature, which to me seems to be an insurmountable problem.
A probabilistic theory comes equipped with an event space and a probability measure attached to it, both of which are fixed by the theory in some manner. However, the probability measure occupies a strictly epiphenomenal position relative to what actually happens. Deterministic theories have the feature that they forbid some class of events from happening - for instance, the second law of thermodynamics forbids the flow of heat from a cold object to a hot object in an isolated system. The probabilistic component in a theory has no such character, even in principle. Even if we observed an event of zero probability, formally this would not be enough to reject the theory; since a set of zero probability measure need not be empty. (This raises the question of, for instance, whether a pure quantum state in some energy eigenstate could ever be measured to be outside of that eigenstate - is this merely an event of probability $ 0 $, or is it in fact forbidden?)
The legitimacy of using probabilistic theories then rests on the implicit assumption that events of zero (or sufficiently small) probability are in some sense negligible. However, it's not clear why we should believe this as a prior axiom. There are certainly other types of sets we might consider to be "negligible" - for instance, if we are doing probability theory on a Polish space, the collection of meager sets and the collection of null measure sets are both in some sense "negligible", but these notions are in fact perpendicular to each other: $ [0, 1] $ can be written as the union of a meager set and a set of null measure. This result forces us to make a choice as to which class of sets we will neglect, or otherwise we will end up neglecting the whole space $ [0, 1] $!
Moreover, ergodic theorems (such as the law of large numbers) which link spatial averages to temporal averages don't help us here, even if we use versions of them with explicit estimates of errors (like the central limit theorem), because these estimates only hold with a probability $ 1 - \varepsilon $ for some small $ \varepsilon > 0 $, and even in the infinite limit they hold with probability $ 1 $, and we're back to the problems I discussed above. So while these theorems can allow one to use some hypothesis test to reject the theory as per the frequentist approach, for the theory to have any predictive power at all this hypothesis test has to be put inside the theory.
The alternative is to adopt a Bayesian approach, in which case the function of a probabilistic theory becomes purely normative - it informs us about how some agent with a given expected utility should act. I certainly don't conceive of the theory of quantum mechanics as fundamentally being a prescription for how humans should act, so this approach seems to simply define the problem out of existence and is wholly unsatisfying. Why should we even accept this view of decision theory when we have given no fundamental justification for the use of probabilities to start with?
I apologize for the length of the post, but I would like to hear what other people have to say about this problem.