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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. On the Second Law of Thermodynamics.Andreas Henriksson - manuscript
    In this article, it is argued that, given an initial uncertainty in the state of a system, the information possessed about the system, by any given observer, tend to decrease exponentially until there is none left. By linking the subjective, i.e. observer dependent, concepts of information and entropy, the statement of information decrease represent an alternative formulation of the second law of thermodynamics. With this reformulation, the connection between the foundations of statistical mechanics and classical mechanics is clarified. In conclusion, (...)
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  4. Feyerabend on the Quantum Theory of Measurement: A Reassessment.Daniel Kuby & Patrick Fraser - manuscript
    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 recognized 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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  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. Matters of Time Directionality in Classical and Quantum Physics.Jean-Christophe Lindner - manuscript
    This report offers a modern perspective on the question of time directionality as it arises in a classical and quantum mechanical context, based on key developments in the field of gravitational physics. Important clarifications are achieved regarding, in particular, the concepts of time reversal, negative energy and causality. From this analysis emerges an improved understanding of the general relativistic concept of stress-energy of matter as being a manifestation of local variations in the energy density of zero-point vacuum fluctuations. Based on (...)
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. A Philosopher Against the Bandwagon. Carnap and the Informationalization of Thermal Physics.Javier Anta - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
    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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  11. 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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  12. 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:
  13. The Past Hypothesis and the Nature of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Harvard University Press.
    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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  14. From Time Asymmetry to Quantum Entanglement: The Humean Unification.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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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  15. Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    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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  16. Degeneration and Entropy.Eugene Chua - forthcoming - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy.
    [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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  17. Generalizing the Problem of Humean Undermining.Heather Demarest & Elizabeth Miller - forthcoming - 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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  18. 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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  19. Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World.Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric Winsberg (eds.) - forthcoming - Harvard University Press.
    A collection of newly commissioned papers on themes from David Albert's Time and Chance (HUP, 2000), with replies by Albert. Confirmed contributors: Sean Carroll, Sidney Felder, Alison Fernandes, Mathias Frisch, Nick Huggett, Jenann Ismael, Doug Kutach, Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin, Chris Meacham, David Wallace, and Eric Winsberg.
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  20. Two Rival Approaches to Problem of Irreversibility.Reza Malih Seyyed & Zahra Shojaei - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
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  21. The Meta-Reversibility Objection.Christopher J. G. Meacham - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric Winsberg (eds.), Time's Arrow and the Probability Structure of the World.
    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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  22. Atheistic Induction by Boltzmann Brains.Bradley Monton - forthcoming - In Jerry Walls & Trent Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God: The Plantinga Project. Oxford University Press.
    I present a new thermodynamic argument for the existence of God. Naturalistic physics provides evidence for the failure of induction, because it provides evidence that the past is not at all what you think it is, and your existence is just a momentary fluctuation. The fact that you are not a momentary fluctuation thus provides evidence for the existence of God – God would ensure that the past is roughly what we think it is, and you have been in existence (...)
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  23. From Quantum Entanglement to Spatiotemporal Distance.Alyssa Ney - forthcoming - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Within the field of quantum gravity, there is an influential research program developing the connection between quantum entanglement and spatiotemporal distance. Quantum information theory gives us highly refined tools for quantifying quantum entanglement such as the entanglement entropy. Through a series of well-confirmed results, it has been shown how these facts about the entanglement entropy of component systems may be connected to facts about spatiotemporal distance. Physicists are seeing these results as yielding promising methods for better understanding the emergence of (...)
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  24. Eternal Worlds and the Best System Account of Laws.Ryan A. Olsen & Christopher Meacham - forthcoming - In Valia Allori (ed.), Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature. World Scientific.
    In this paper we apply the popular Best System Account of laws to typical eternal worlds – both classical eternal worlds and eternal worlds of the kind posited by popular contemporary cosmological theories. We show that, according to the Best System Account, such worlds will have no laws that meaningfully constrain boundary conditions. It’s generally thought that lawful constraints on boundary conditions are required to avoid skeptical arguments. Thus the lack of such laws given the Best System Account may seem (...)
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  25. Typical: A Theory of Typicality and Typicality Explanation.Isaac Wilhelm - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz016.
    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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. Make Information in Science Meaningful Again.Javier Anta - 2021 - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology (3):263-286.
    Although the everyday notion of information has clear semantic properties, the all-pervasive technical concept of Shannon information is usually considered as a non-semantic concept. In this paper I show how this concept was implicitly ‘semantized’ in the early 1950s by many authors, such as Rothstein or Brillouin, in order to explain the knowledge dynamics underlying certain scientific practices such as measurement. On the other hand, I argue that the main attempts in the literature to develop a quantitative measure of semantic (...)
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  31. Quantum Mechanics in a Time-Asymmetric Universe: On the Nature of the Initial Quantum State.Eddy Keming Chen - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1155–1183.
    In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, we postulate a low-entropy boundary condition to account for the temporal asymmetry. In this paper, I show that the Past Hypothesis also contains enough information to simplify the quantum ontology and define a unique initial condition in such a world. First, I introduce Density Matrix Realism, the thesis that the quantum universe is described by a fundamental density matrix that represents something objective. This stands in sharp contrast to Wave Function (...)
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  32. Does von Neumann Entropy Correspond to Thermodynamic Entropy?Eugene Y. S. Chua - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (1):145-168.
    Conventional wisdom holds that the von Neumann entropy corresponds to thermodynamic entropy, but Hemmo and Shenker (2006) have recently argued against this view by attacking von Neumann's (1955) argument. I argue that Hemmo and Shenker's arguments fail due to several misunderstandings: about statistical-mechanical and thermodynamic domains of applicability, about the nature of mixed states, and about the role of approximations in physics. As a result, their arguments fail in all cases: in the single-particle case, the finite particles case, and the (...)
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  33. What’s so Special About Initial Conditions? Understanding the Past Hypothesis in Directionless Time.Matt Farr - 2021 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking the Concept of Laws of Nature: Natural order in the Light of Contemporary Science. 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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  34. Conventionalism About Time Direction.Matt Farr - 2021 - Synthese.
    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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  35. Typicality of Dynamics and the Laws of Nature.Aldo Filomeno - 2021 - In Cristian Soto (ed.), Current Debates in Philosophy of Science: In Honor of Roberto Torretti. Synthese Library Series, Springer.
    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 (...)
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  36. Historical and Conceptual Foundations of Information Physics.Anta Javier - 2021 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    The main objective of this dissertation is to philosophically assess how the use of informational concepts in the field of classical thermostatistical physics has historically evolved from the late 1940s to the present day. I will first analyze in depth the main notions that form the conceptual basis on which 'informational physics' historically unfolded, encompassing (i) different entropy, probability and information notions, (ii) their multiple interpretative variations, and (iii) the formal, numerical and semantic-interpretative relationships among them. In the following, I (...)
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  37. How Anti-Humeans Can Embrace a Thermodynamic Reduction of Time’s Causal Arrow.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1161-1171.
    Some argue that time’s causal arrow is grounded in an underlying thermodynamic asymmetry. Often, this is tied to Humean skepticism that causes produce their effects, in any robust sense of ‘produce’. Conversely, those who advocate stronger notions of natural necessity often reject thermodynamic reductions of time’s causal arrow. Against these traditional pairings, I argue that ‘reduction-plus-production’ is coherent. Reductionists looking to invoke robust production can insist that there are metaphysical constraints on the signs of objects’ velocities in any state, given (...)
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  38. “Two Bits Less” After Quantum-Information Conservation and Their Interpretation as “Distinguishability / Indistinguishability” and “Classical / Quantum”.Vasil Penchev - 2021 - Philosophy of Science eJournal (Elsevier: SSRN) 14 (46):1-7.
    The paper investigates the understanding of quantum indistinguishability after quantum information in comparison with the “classical” quantum mechanics based on the separable complex Hilbert space. The two oppositions, correspondingly “distinguishability / indistinguishability” and “classical / quantum”, available implicitly in the concept of quantum indistinguishability can be interpreted as two “missing” bits of classical information, which are to be added after teleportation of quantum information to be restored the initial state unambiguously. That new understanding of quantum indistinguishability is linked to the (...)
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  39. Idealizations and Analogies: Explaining Critical Phenomena.Quentin Rodriguez - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89:235-247.
    The “universality” of critical phenomena is much discussed in philosophy of scientific explanation, idealizations and philosophy of physics. Lange and Reutlinger recently opposed Batterman concerning the role of some deliberate distortions in unifying a large class of phenomena, regardless of microscopic constitution. They argue for an essential explanatory role for “commonalities” rather than that of idealizations. Building on Batterman's insight, this article aims to show that assessing the differences between the universality of critical phenomena and two paradigmatic cases of “commonality (...)
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  40. Can Quantum Thermodynamics Save Time?Noel Swanson - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (2):281-302.
    The thermal time hypothesis is a proposed solution to the problem of time: a coarse-grained state determines a thermal dynamics according to which it is in equilibrium, and this defines the f...
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  41. In Praise of Clausius Entropy: Reassessing the Foundations of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (3):1-64.
    I will argue, pace a great many of my contemporaries, that there's something right about Boltzmann's attempt to ground the second law of thermodynamics in a suitably amended deterministic time-reversal invariant classical dynamics, and that in order to appreciate what's right about (what was at least at one time) Boltzmann's explanatory project, one has to fully apprehend the nature of microphysical causal structure, time-reversal invariance, and the relationship between Boltzmann entropy and the work of Rudolf Clausius.
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  42. Explaining Universality: Infinite Limit Systems in the Renormalization Group Method.Jingyi Wu - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14897-14930.
    I analyze the role of infinite idealizations used in the renormalization group (RG hereafter) method in explaining universality across microscopically different physical systems in critical phenomena. I argue that despite the reference to infinite limit systems such as systems with infinite correlation lengths during the RG process, the key to explaining universality in critical phenomena need not involve infinite limit systems. I develop my argument by introducing what I regard as the explanatorily relevant property in RG explanations: linearization* property; I (...)
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  43. Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature.Valia Allori (ed.) - 2020 - Singapore: World Scientific.
    The book explores several open questions in the philosophy of statistical mechanics. Each chapter is written by a leading expert in the field. Here is a list of some questions that are addressed in the book: 1) Boltzmann showed how the phenomenological gas laws of thermodynamics can be derived from statistical mechanics. Since classical mechanics is a deterministic theory there are no probabilities in it. Since statistical mechanics is based on classical mechanics, all the probabilities statistical mechanics talks about cannot (...)
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  44. Some Reflections on the Statistical Postulate: Typicality, Probability and Explanation Between Deterministic and Indeterministic Theories.Valia Allori - 2020 - In Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature, (2020). Singapore: World Scientific. pp. 65-111.
    A common way of characterizing Boltzmann’s explanation of thermodynamics in term of statistical mechanics is with reference to three ingredients: the dynamics, the past hypothesis, and the statistical postulate. In this paper I focus on the statistical postulate, and I have three aims. First, I wish to argue that regarding the statistical postulate as a probability postulate may be too strong: a postulate about typicality would be enough. Second, I wish to show that there is no need to postulate anything, (...)
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  45. Paradojas Epistémicas en la Aproximación Informacional a la Física Térmica.Javier Anta - 2020 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 24 (3):477-501.
    En este artículo pretendo evaluar las bases conceptuales y interpretativas de las ‘paradojas info-térmicas’ subyacentes a las aproximaciones informacionales a la física térmica, por las cuales nuestra información epistémica sobre un sistema molecular aumenta y disminuye simultáneamente cuando este se aproxima al equilibrio térmico. Defiendo que el contenido paradójico de nuestra tesis persiste incluso cuando se distinguen distintos tipos de información, debido a la conexión robusta entre la parte del incremento y la parte de la disminución informacional de la tesis. (...)
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  46. Calling for explanation: the case of the thermodynamic past state.Dan Baras & Orly Shenker - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-20.
    Philosophers of physics have long debated whether the Past State of low entropy of our universe calls for explanation. What is meant by “calls for explanation”? In this article we analyze this notion, distinguishing between several possible meanings that may be attached to it. Taking the debate around the Past State as a case study, we show how our analysis of what “calling for explanation” might mean can contribute to clarifying the debate and perhaps to settling it, thus demonstrating the (...)
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  47. Time's Arrow in a Quantum Universe: On the Status of Statistical Mechanical Probabilities.Eddy Keming Chen - 2020 - In Valia Allori (ed.), Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature. World Scientific. pp. 479–515.
    In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, it is standard to postulate that the initial wave function started in a particular macrostate---the special low-entropy macrostate selected by the Past Hypothesis. Moreover, there is an additional postulate about statistical mechanical probabilities according to which the initial wave function is a ''typical'' choice in the macrostate. Together, they support a probabilistic version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: typical initial wave functions will increase in entropy. Hence, there are two (...)
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  48. Welcome to the Fuzzy-Verse.Eddy Keming Chen - 2020 - New Scientist 247 (3298):36-40.
    We expect the laws of nature that describe the universe to be exact, but what if that isn't true? In this popular science article, I discuss the possibility that some candidate fundamental laws of nature, such as the Past Hypothesis, may be vague. This possibility is in conflict with the idea that the fundamental laws of nature can always and faithfully be described by classical mathematics. -/- [Bibliographic note: this article is featured on the magazine website under a different title (...)
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  49. Jean Perrin and the Philosophers’ Stories: The Role of Multiple Determination in Determining Avogadro’s Number.Klodian Coko - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):143-193.
    The French physicist Jean Baptiste Perrin is widely credited with providing the conclusive argument for atomism. The most well-known part of Perrin’s argument is his description of thirteen different procedures for determining Avogadro’s number (N)–the number of atoms, ions, and molecules contained in a gram-atom, gram-ion, and gram-mole of a substance, respectively. Because of its success in ending the atomism debates Perrin’s argument has been the focus of much philosophical interest. The various philosophers, however, have reached different conclusions, not only (...)
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  50. Causal Closure of the Physical, Mental Causation, and Physics.Dejan R. Dimitrijević - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-22.
    The argument from causal closure of the physical is usually considered the most powerful argument in favor of the ontological doctrine of physicalism. Many authors, most notably Papineau, assume that CCP implies that physicalism is supported by physics. I demonstrate, however, that physical science has no bias in the ontological debate between proponents of physicalism and dualism. I show that the arguments offered for CCP are effective only against the accounts of mental causation based on the action of the mental (...)
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