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  1. Feyerabend on the Quantum Theory of Measurement: A Reassessment.Daniel Kuby & Patrick Fraser - 2022 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 35 (1):23-49.
    In 1957, Feyerabend delivered a paper titled ‘On the Quantum-Theory of Measurement’ at the Colston Research Symposium in Bristol to sketch a completion of von Neumann's measurement scheme without collapse, using only unitary quantum dynamics and well-motivated statistical assumptions about macroscopic quantum systems. Feyerabend's paper has been recognised as an early contribution to quantum measurement, anticipating certain aspects of decoherence. Our paper reassesses the physical and philosophical content of Feyerabend's contribution, detailing the technical steps as well as its overall philosophical (...)
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  2. How Typical! An Epistemological Analysis of Typicality in Statistical Mechanics.Massimiliano Badino - manuscript
    The recent use of typicality in statistical mechanics for foundational purposes has stirred an important debate involving both philosophers and physicists. While this debate customarily focuses on technical issues, in this paper I try to approach the problem from an epistemological angle. The discussion is driven by two questions: (1) What does typicality add to the concept of measure? (2) What kind of explanation, if any, does typicality yield? By distinguishing the notions of `typicality-as-vast-majority' and `typicality-as-best-exemplar', I argue that the (...)
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  3. Brussels-Austin nonequilibrium statistical mechanics in the early years: Similarity transformations between deterministic and probabilistic descriptions.Robert Bishop - manuscript
    The fundamental problem on which Ilya Prigogine and the Brussels-Austin Group have focused can be stated briefly as follows. Our observations indicate that there is an arrow of time in our experience of the world (e.g., decay of unstable radioactive atoms like Uranium, or the mixing of cream in coffee). Most of the fundamental equations of physics are time reversible, however, presenting an apparent conflict between our theoretical descriptions and experimental observations. Many have thought that the observed arrow of time (...)
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  4. Laws of Physics.Eddy Keming Chen - manuscript
    Despite its apparent complexity, our world seems to be governed by simple laws of physics. This volume provides a philosophical introduction to such laws. I explain how they are connected to some of the central issues in philosophy, such as ontology, possibility, explanation, induction, counterfactuals, time, determinism, and fundamentality. I suggest that laws are fundamental facts that govern the world by constraining its physical possibilities. I examine three hallmarks of laws--simplicity, exactness, and objectivity--and discuss whether and how they may be (...)
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  5. The Empirical Content of the Epistemic Asymmetry.Douglas Kutach - manuscript
    I conduct an empirical analysis of the temporally asymmetric character of our epistemic access to the world by providing an experimental scheme whose results represent the core empirical content of the epistemic asymmetry. I augment this empirical content by formulating a gedanken experiment inspired by a proposal from David Albert. This second experiment cannot be conducted using any technology that is likely to be developed in the foreseeable future, but the expected results help us to state an important constraint on (...)
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  6. Termodinamica: Legi, Concepte, Sisteme, Stări.Sfetcu Nicolae - manuscript
    Termodinamica se ocupă cu studiul energiei, a conversiilor sale între diferite forme, cum ar fi căldura, și capacitatea energiei de a produce lucru mecanic. Ea este strâns legată de mecanica statistică, din care pot fi derivate multe relații termodinamice. Se poate argumenta că termodinamica a fost greșit denumită astfel întrucât aceasta nu se referă de fapt la rate de schimbare ca atare și, prin urmare, ar fi fost probabil mai corect ca domeniul să se denumească termostatica. Termodinamica se referă la (...)
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  7. Why gravity is not an entropic force.Shan Gao - 2010
    The remarkable connections between gravity and thermodynamics seem to imply that gravity is not fundamental but emergent, and in particular, as Verlinde suggested, gravity is probably an entropic force. In this paper, we will argue that the idea of gravity as an entropic force is debatable. It is shown that there is no convincing analogy between gravity and entropic force in Verlinde’s example. Neither holographic screen nor test particle satisfies all requirements for the existence of entropic force in a thermodynamics (...)
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  8. Fundamentals on equilibrium concentration curves for sedimentation and diffusion of particles in fluids.Harry Edmar Schulz, José Eduardo Alamy Filho & Swami Marcondes Villela - unknown - Minerva 1 (1).
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  9. Bridging Conceptual Gaps: The Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy.Massimiliano Badino - forthcoming - Isonomía. Revista de Teoría y Filosofía Del Derecho.
    The Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy is a fairly exotic mathematical concept which has recently aroused some interest on the philosophers’ part. The most salient trait of this concept is its working as a junction between such diverse ambits as statistical mechanics, information theory and algorithm theory. In this paper I argue that, in order to understand this very special feature of the Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy, is essential to reconstruct its genealogy. Somewhat surprisingly, this story takes us as far back as the beginning of (...)
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  10. OF WEIGHTING AND COUNTING: STATISTICS AND ONTOLOGY IN THE OLD QUANTUM THEORY.Massimiliano Badino - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of the History of Interpretations and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford, Regno Unito:
  11. Strong Determinism.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    A strongly deterministic theory of physics is one that permits exactly one possible history of the universe. In the words of Penrose (1989), "it is not just a matter of the future being determined by the past; the entire history of the universe is fixed, according to some precise mathematical scheme, for all time.” Such an extraordinary feature may appear unattainable in any realistic and simple theory of physics. In this paper, I propose a definition of strong determinism and contrast (...)
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  12. Does the Best System Need the Past Hypothesis?Chris Dorst - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Many philosophers sympathetic with a Humean understanding of laws of nature have thought that, in the final analysis, the fundamental laws will include not only the traditional dynamical equations, but also two additional principles: the Past Hypothesis and the Statistical Postulate. The former says that the universe began in a particular very-low-entropy macrostate M(0), and the latter posits a uniform probability distribution over the microstates compatible with M(0). Such a view is arguably vindicated by the orthodox Humean Best System Account (...)
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  13. What’s so special about initial conditions? Understanding the past hypothesis in directionless time.Matt Farr - forthcoming - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking Laws of Nature. Springer.
    It is often said that the world is explained by laws of nature together with initial conditions. But does that mean initial conditions don’t require further explanation? And does the explanatory role played by initial conditions entail or require that time has a preferred direction? This chapter looks at the use of the ‘initialness defence’ in physics, the idea that initial conditions are intrinsically special in that they don’t require further explanation, unlike the state of the world at other times. (...)
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  14. Filosofía de la Física Estadística y la Termodinámica.Aldo Filomeno - forthcoming - Enciclopedia de la Sociedad Española de Filosofía Analítica.
    En esta entrada se mencionan las principales cuestiones en los fundamentos de la mecánica estadı́stica y la termodinámica, y las cuestiones filosóficas en las que repercuten estas áreas de la fı́sica. Al final se añaden lecturas recomendadas, enfatizando las traducidas al español.
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  15. Two Approaches to Reduction: A Case Study from Statistical Mechanics.Bixin Guo - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-36.
    I argue that there are two distinct approaches to understanding reduction: the ontology-first approach and the theory-first approach. They concern the relation between ontological reduction and inter-theoretic reduction. Further, I argue for the significance of this distinction by demonstrating that either one or the other approach has been taken as an implicit assumption in, and has in fact shaped, our understanding of what statistical mechanics is. More specifically, I argue that the Boltzmannian framework of statistical mechanics assumes and relies on (...)
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  16. Negative-Energy Matter and the Direction of Time.J. C. Lindner - forthcoming
    This report offers a modern perspective on the problem of negative energy, based on a reexamination of the concept of time direction as it arises in a classical and quantum-mechanical context. From this analysis emerges an improved understanding of the general-relativistic stress-energy of matter as being a manifestation of local variations in the energy density of zero-point vacuum fluctuations. Based on those developments, a set of axioms is proposed from which are derived generalized gravitational field equations which actually constitute a (...)
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  17. Two rival approaches to problem of irreversibility.Reza Malih Seyyed & Zahra Shojaei - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
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  18. Lessons from the Void: What Boltzmann Brains Teach.Bradford Saad - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Some physical theories predict that almost all brains in the universe are Boltzmann brains, i.e. short-lived disembodied brains that are accidentally assembled as a result of thermodynamic or quantum fluctuations. Physicists and philosophers of physics widely regard this proliferation as unacceptable, and so take its prediction as a basis for rejecting these theories. But the putatively unacceptable consequences of this prediction follow only given certain philosophical assumptions. This paper develops a strategy for shielding physical theorizing from the threat of Boltzmann (...)
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  19. The Typical Principle.Isaac Wilhelm - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    If a proposition is typically true, given your evidence, then you should believe that proposition; or so I argue here. In particular, in this paper, I propose and defend a principle of rationality---call it the `Typical Principle'---which links rational belief to facts about what is typical. As I show, this principle avoids several problems that other, seemingly similar principles face. And as I show, in many cases, this principle implies the verdicts of the Principal Principle: so ultimately, the Typical Principle (...)
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  20. Black Hole Paradoxes: A Unified Framework for Information Loss.Saakshi Dulani - 2024 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
    The black hole information loss paradox is a catch-all term for a family of puzzles related to black hole evaporation. For almost 50 years, the quest to elucidate the implications of black hole evaporation has not only sustained momentum, but has also become increasingly populated with proposals that seem to generate more questions than they purport to answer. Scholars often neglect to acknowledge ongoing discussions within black hole thermodynamics and statistical mechanics when analyzing the paradox, including the interpretation of Bekenstein-Hawking (...)
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  21. Two Forms of Functional Reductionism in Physics.Lorenzo Lorenzetti - 2024 - Synthese 203 (2).
    Functional reductionism characterises inter-theoretic reduction as the recovery of the upper-level behaviour described by the reduced theory in terms of the lower-level reducing theory. For instance, finding a statistical mechanical realiser that plays the functional role of thermodynamic entropy allows for establishing a reductive link between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. This view constitutes a unique approach to reduction that enjoys a number of positive features, but has received limited attention in the philosophy of science. -/- This paper aims to clarify (...)
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  22. Memory Systems, the Epistemic Arrow of Time, and the Second Law.David H. Wolpert & Jens Kipper - 2024 - Entropy 26 (2).
    The epistemic arrow of time is the fact that our knowledge of the past seems to be both of a different kind and more detailed than our knowledge of the future. Just like with the other arrows of time, it has often been speculated that the epistemic arrow arises due to the second law of thermodynamics. In this paper, we investigate the epistemic arrow of time using a fully formal framework. We begin by defining a memory system as any physical (...)
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  23. The Past Hypothesis and the Nature of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - 2023 - In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric B. Winsberg (eds.), The Probability Map of the Universe: Essays on David Albert’s _time and Chance_. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 204-248.
    If the Past Hypothesis underlies the arrows of time, what is the status of the Past Hypothesis? In this paper, I examine the role of the Past Hypothesis in the Boltzmannian account and defend the view that the Past Hypothesis is a candidate fundamental law of nature. Such a view is known to be compatible with Humeanism about laws, but as I argue it is also supported by a minimal non-Humean "governing'' view. Some worries arise from the non-dynamical and time-dependent (...)
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  24. The Meta-Reversibility Objection.Meacham Christopher - 2023 - In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric B. Winsberg (eds.), The Probability Map of the Universe: Essays on David Albert’s _time and Chance_. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
    One popular approach to statistical mechanics understands statistical mechanical probabilities as measures of rational indifference. Naive formulations of this ``indifference approach'' face reversibility worries - while they yield the right prescriptions regarding future events, they yield the wrong prescriptions regarding past events. This paper begins by showing how the indifference approach can overcome the standard reversibility worries by appealing to the Past Hypothesis. But, the paper argues, positing a Past Hypothesis doesn't free the indifference approach from all reversibility worries. For (...)
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  25. Generalizing the Problem of Humean Undermining.Heather Demarest & Elizabeth Miller - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    For Humeans, many facts—even ones intuitively “about” particular, localized macroscopic parts of the world—turn out to depend on surprisingly global fundamental bases. We investigate some counterintuitive consequences of this picture. Many counterfactuals whose antecedents describe intuitively localized, non-actual states of affairs nevertheless end up involving wide-ranging implications for the global, embedding Humean mosaic. The case of self-undermining chances is a familiar example of this. We examine that example in detail and argue that popular existing strategies such as “holding the laws (...)
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  26. The Temporal Asymmetry of Causation.Alison Fernandes - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Causes always seem to come prior to their effects. What might explain this asymmetry? Causation's temporal asymmetry isn't straightforwardly due to a temporal asymmetry in the laws of nature—the laws are, by and large, temporally symmetric. Nor does the asymmetry appear due to an asymmetry in time itself. This Element examines recent empirical attempts to explain the temporal asymmetry of causation: statistical mechanical accounts, agency accounts and fork asymmetry accounts. None of these accounts are complete yet and a full explanation (...)
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  27. How bad is the postulation of a low entropy initial state of the universe?Aldo Filomeno - 2023 - Aphex 27:141-158.
    I summarize, in this informal interview, the main approaches to the ‘Past Hypothesis’, the postulation of a low-entropy initial state of the universe. I’ve chosen this as an open problem in the philosophical foundations of physics. I hope that this brief overview helps readers in gaining perspective and in appreciating the diverse range of approaches in this fascinating unresolved debate.
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  28. Typicality of Dynamics and Laws of Nature.Aldo Filomeno - 2023 - In Cristián Soto (ed.), Current Debates in Philosophy of Science: In Honor of Roberto Torretti. Springer Verlag. pp. 391-418.
    Certain results, most famously in classical statistical mechanics and complex systems, but also in quantum mechanics and high-energy physics, yield a coarse-grained stable statistical pattern in the long run. The explanation of these results shares a common structure: the results hold for a ‘typical’ dynamics, that is, for most of the underlying dynamics. In this paper I argue that the structure of the explanation of these results might shed some light—a different light—on philosophical debates on the laws of nature. In (...)
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  29. Absorbing the Arrow of Electromagnetic Radiation.Mario Hubert & Charles T. Sebens - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 99 (C):10-27.
    We argue that the asymmetry between diverging and converging electromagnetic waves is just one of many asymmetries in observed phenomena that can be explained by a past hypothesis and statistical postulate (together assigning probabilities to different states of matter and field in the early universe). The arrow of electromagnetic radiation is thus absorbed into a broader account of temporal asymmetries in nature. We give an accessible introduction to the problem of explaining the arrow of radiation and compare our preferred strategy (...)
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  30. The Probability Map of the Universe: Essays on David Albert’s time and Chance.Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric B. Winsberg (eds.) - 2023 - Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
    A collection of newly commissioned papers on themes from David Albert's Time and Chance (HUP, 2000), with replies by Albert. Introduction [Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake, and Eric Winsberg] I. Overview of Time and Chance 1. The Mentaculus: A Probability Map of the Universe [Barry Loewer] II. Philosophical Foundations 2. The Metaphysical Foundations of Statistical Mechanics: On the Status of PROB and PH [Eric Winsberg] 3. The Logic of the Past Hypothesis [David Wallace] 4. In What Sense Is the Early Universe (...)
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  31. Thermodynamics of an Empty Box.G. J. Schmitz, M. te Vrugt, T. Haug-Warberg, L. Ellingsen & P. Needham - 2023 - Entropy 25 (315):1-30.
    A gas in a box is perhaps the most important model system studied in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Usually, studies focus on the gas, whereas the box merely serves as an idealized confinement. The present article focuses on the box as the central object and develops a thermodynamic theory by treating the geometric degrees of freedom of the box as the degrees of freedom of a thermodynamic system. Applying standard mathematical methods to the thermody- namics of an empty box allows (...)
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  32. The logic of the past hypothesis.David Wallace - 2023 - In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric B. Winsberg (eds.), The Probability Map of the Universe: Essays on David Albert’s _time and Chance_. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 76-109.
    I attempt to get as clear as possible on the chain of reasoning by which irreversible macrodynamics is derivable from time-reversible microphysics, and in particular to clarify just what kinds of assumptions about the initial state of the universe, and about the nature of the microdynamics, are needed in these derivations. I conclude that while a “Past Hypothesis” about the early Universe does seem necessary to carry out such derivations, that Hypothesis is not correctly understood as a constraint on the (...)
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  33. “The Paradox of Deterministic Probabilities”.Valia Allori - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1 (DOI: 10.1080/0020174X.2022.20655):0-00.
    This paper aims to investigate the so-called paradox of deterministic probabilities: in a deterministic world, all probabilities should be subjective; however, they also seem to play important explanatory and predictive roles which suggest they are objective. The problem is then to understand what these deterministic probabilities are. Recent proposed solutions of this paradox are the Mentaculus vision, the range account of probability, and a version of frequentism based on typicality. All these approaches aim at defining deterministic objective probabilities as to (...)
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  34. A Philosopher against the Bandwagon: Carnap and the Informationalization of Thermal Physics.Javier Anta - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (1):43-67.
    In this paper I aim to demonstrate that Rudolf Carnap's analysis of the application of information theory within physics, an intellectual-historical precedent of current philosophical criticisms toward this tendency, is justified. First, Carnap and Bar-Hillel (1952) underlined the unjustified ‘semantification’ of Shannon entropy Furthermore, Carnap criticized the ‘physicalization’ of Shannon entropy, but that criticism was not accepted by the physics community of the 1950s (Köhler 2001). Finally, in the posthumously published "Two Essays on Entropy" Carnap (1977) developed a critical assessment (...)
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  35. From Time Asymmetry to Quantum Entanglement: The Humean Unification.Eddy Keming Chen - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):227-255.
    Two of the most difficult problems in the foundations of physics are (1) what gives rise to the arrow of time and (2) what the ontology of quantum mechanics is. I propose a unified 'Humean' solution to the two problems. Humeanism allows us to incorporate the Past Hypothesis and the Statistical Postulate into the best system, which we then use to simplify the quantum state of the universe. This enables us to confer the nomological status to the quantum state in (...)
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  36. Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (1):1-49.
    If there are fundamental laws of nature, can they fail to be exact? In this paper, I consider the possibility that some fundamental laws are vague. I call this phenomenon 'fundamental nomic vagueness.' I characterize fundamental nomic vagueness as the existence of borderline lawful worlds and the presence of several other accompanying features. Under certain assumptions, such vagueness prevents the fundamental physical theory from being completely expressible in the mathematical language. Moreover, I suggest that such vagueness can be regarded as (...)
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  37. Degeneration and Entropy.Eugene Y. S. Chua - 2022 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):123-155.
    [Accepted for publication in Lakatos's Undone Work: The Practical Turn and the Division of Philosophy of Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, special issue of Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy. Edited by S. Nagler, H. Pilin, and D. Sarikaya.] Lakatos’s analysis of progress and degeneration in the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes is well-known. Less known, however, are his thoughts on degeneration in Proofs and Refutations. I propose and motivate two new criteria for degeneration based on the discussion in Proofs and Refutations (...)
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  38. T Falls Apart: On the Status of Classical Temperature in Relativity.Eugene Yew Siang Chua - 2022 - Philosophy of Science:1-27.
    Taking the formal analogies between black holes and classical thermodynamics seriously seems to first require that classical thermodynamics applies in relativistic regimes. Yet, by scrutinizing how classical temperature is extended into special relativity, I argue that the concept falls apart. I examine four consilient procedures for establishing the classical temperature: the Carnot process, the thermometer, kinetic theory, and black-body radiation. I argue that their relativistic counterparts demonstrate no such consilience in defining the relativistic temperature. As such, classical temperature doesn’t appear (...)
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  39. Reducing thermodynamics to Boltzmannian statistical mechanics: the case of macro values.Alexander Ehmann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-35.
    Thermodynamic macro variables, such as the temperature or volume macro variable, can take on a continuum of allowable values, called thermodynamic macro values. Although referring to the same macro phenomena, the macro variables of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics (BSM) differ from thermodynamic macro variables in an important respect: within the framework of BSM the evolution of macro values of systems with finite available phase space is invariably modelled as discontinuous, due to the method of partitioning phase space into macro regions with (...)
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  40. Conventionalism about time direction.Matt Farr - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
    In what sense is the direction of time a matter of convention? In 'The Direction of Time', Hans Reichenbach makes brief reference to parallels between his views about the status of time’s direction and his conventionalism about geometry. In this article, I: (1) provide a conventionalist account of time direction motivated by a number of Reichenbach’s claims in the book; (2) show how forwards and backwards time can give equivalent descriptions of the world despite the former being the ‘natural’ direction (...)
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  41. Why Machines Will Never Rule the World: Artificial Intelligence without Fear.Jobst Landgrebe & Barry Smith - 2022 - Abingdon, England: Routledge.
    The book’s core argument is that an artificial intelligence that could equal or exceed human intelligence—sometimes called artificial general intelligence (AGI)—is for mathematical reasons impossible. It offers two specific reasons for this claim: Human intelligence is a capability of a complex dynamic system—the human brain and central nervous system. Systems of this sort cannot be modelled mathematically in a way that allows them to operate inside a computer. In supporting their claim, the authors, Jobst Landgrebe and Barry Smith, marshal evidence (...)
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  42. A Multi-wavelength Data Analysis with Multi-mission Space Telescopes.Yang I. Pachankis - 2022 - International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology 7 (1):701-708.
    The article summarizes the software tool on astrophysical analysis with multi-wavelength space telescope data. It recaps the evidence analysis conducted on the Kerr-Newman black hole (KNBH). It was written prior to the article Research on the Kerr-Newman Black Hole in M82 Confirms Black Hole and White Hole Juxtapose not soon after the experiment. The conducted analysis suggested Hawking radiation is caused by the movement of ergosurfaces of the BH and serves as the primal evidence for black hole and white hole (...)
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  43. Reversing the arrow of time.Bryan W. Roberts - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    'The arrow of time' refers to the curious asymmetry that distinguishes the future from the past. Reversing the Arrow of Time argues that there is an intimate link between the symmetries of 'time itself' and time reversal symmetry in physical theories, which has wide-ranging implications for both physics and its philosophy. This link helps to clarify how we can learn about the symmetries of our world, how to understand the relationship between symmetries and what is real, and how to overcome (...)
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  44. In Search of the Holy Grail: How to Reduce the Second Law of Thermodynamics.Katie Robertson - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (4):987-1020.
    The search for the statistical mechanical underpinning of thermodynamic irreversibility has so far focussed on the spontaneous approach to equilibrium. But this is the search for the underpinning of what Brown and Uffink have dubbed the ‘minus first law’ of thermodynamics. In contrast, the second law tells us that certain interventions on equilibrium states render the initial state ‘irrecoverable’. In this article, I discuss the unusual nature of processes in thermodynamics, and the type of irreversibility that the second law embodies. (...)
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  45. Poincaré, Poincaré Recurrence, and the H-Theorem: A Continued Reassessment of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2022 - International Journal of Modern Physics B 36 (23):2230005.
    In (Weaver 2021), I showed that Boltzmann’s H-theorem does not face a significant threat from the reversibility paradox. I argue that my defense of the H-theorem against that paradox can be used yet again for the purposes of resolving the recurrence paradox without having to endorse heavy-duty statistical assumptions outside of the hypothesis of molecular chaos. As in (Weaver 2021), lessons from the history and foundations of physics reveal precisely how such resolution is achieved.
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  46. Typical: A Theory of Typicality and Typicality Explanation.Isaac Wilhelm - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):561-581.
    Typicality is routinely invoked in everyday contexts: bobcats are typically short-tailed; people are typically less than seven feet tall. Typicality is invoked in scientific contexts as well: typical gases expand; typical quantum systems exhibit probabilistic behaviour. And typicality facts like these support many explanations, both quotidian and scientific. But what is it for something to be typical? And how do typicality facts explain? In this paper, I propose a general theory of typicality. I analyse the notion of a typical property. (...)
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  47. The Epistemic Schism of Statistical Mechanics.Javier Anta - 2021 - Theoria 36 (3):399-419.
    In this paper I will argue that the two main approaches to statistical mechanics, that of Boltzmann and Gibbs, constitute two substantially different theoretical apparatuses. Particularly, I defend that this theoretical split must be philosophically understood as a separation of epistemic functions within this physical domain: while Boltzmannians are able to generate powerful explanations of thermal phenomena from molecular dynamics, Gibbsians can statistically predict observable values in a highly effective way. Therefore, statistical mechanics is a counterexample to Hempel's (1958) symmetry (...)
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  48. Can Informational Thermal Physics explain the Approach to Equilibrium?Javier Anta - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4015–4038.
    In this paper I will defend the incapacity of the informational frameworks in thermal physics, mainly those that historically and conceptually derive from the work of Brillouin (1962) and Jaynes (1957a), to robustly explain the approach of certain gaseous systems to their state of thermal equilibrium from the dynamics of their molecular components. I will further argue that, since their various interpretative, conceptual and technical-formal resources (e.g. epistemic interpretations of probabilities and entropy measures, identification of thermal entropy as Shannon information, (...)
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  49. Diagrams as Part of Physical Theories: A Representational Conception.Javier Anta - 2021 - In 12th International Conference, Diagrams 2021, Virtual, September 28–30, 2021, Proceedings. pp. 52-59.
    Throughout the history of the philosophy of science, theories have been linked to formulas as a privileged representational format. In this paper, following, I defend a semantic-representational conception of theories, where theories are identified with sets of scientific re-presentations by virtue of their epistemic potential and independently of their format. To show the potential of this proposal, I analyze as a case study the use of phase diagrams in statistical mechanics to convey in a semantically consistent and syntactically correct way (...)
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  50. Framing the Epistemic Schism of Statistical Mechanics.Javier Anta - 2021 - Proceedings of the X Conference of the Spanish Society of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science.
    In this talk I present the main results from Anta (2021), namely, that the theoretical division between Boltzmannian and Gibbsian statistical mechanics should be understood as a separation in the epistemic capabilities of this physical discipline. In particular, while from the Boltzmannian framework one can generate powerful explanations of thermal processes by appealing to their microdynamics, from the Gibbsian framework one can predict observable values in a computationally effective way. Finally, I argue that this statistical mechanical schism contradicts the Hempelian (...)
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