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  1. Understanding probability and irreversibility in the Mori-Zwanzig projection operator formalism.Michael te Vrugt - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (3):1-36.
    Explaining the emergence of stochastic irreversible macroscopic dynamics from time-reversible deterministic microscopic dynamics is one of the key problems in philosophy of physics. The Mori-Zwanzig projection operator formalism, which is one of the most important methods of modern nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, allows for a systematic derivation of irreversible transport equations from reversible microdynamics and thus provides a useful framework for understanding this issue. However, discussions of the MZ formalism in philosophy of physics tend to focus on simple variants rather than (...)
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  • Thermodynamic Asymmetry in Time.Craig Callender - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Thermodynamics is the science that describes much of the time asymmetric behavior found in the world. This entry's first task, consequently, is to show how thermodynamics treats temporally ‘directed’ behavior. It then concentrates on the following two questions. (1) What is the origin of the thermodynamic asymmetry in time? In a world possibly governed by time symmetric laws, how should we understand the time asymmetric laws of thermodynamics? (2) Does the thermodynamic time asymmetry explain the other temporal asymmetries? Does it (...)
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  • 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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  • The Open Systems View.Michael E. Cuffaro & Stephan Hartmann - 2021
    There is a deeply entrenched view in philosophy and physics, the closed systems view, according to which isolated systems are conceived of as fundamental. On this view, when a system is under the influence of its environment this is described in terms of a coupling between it and a separate system which taken together are isolated. We argue against this view, and in favor of the alternative open systems view, for which systems interacting with their environment are conceived of as (...)
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