Foundations of statistical mechanics—two approaches

Philosophy of Science 70 (1):126-144 (2003)
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Abstract

This paper is a discussion of David Albert's approach to the foundations of classical statistical menchanics. I point out a respect in which his account makes a stronger claim about the statistical mechanical probabilities than is usually made, and I suggest what might be motivation for this. I outline a less radical approach, which I attribute to Boltzmann, and I give some reasons for thinking that this approach is all we need, and also the most we are likely to get. The issue between the two accounts turns out to be one about the explanatory role probabilities play in statistical mechanics.

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2009-01-28

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Stephen Leeds
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Citations of this work

Thermodynamic asymmetry in time.Craig Callender - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Chance, Possibility, and Explanation.Nina Emery - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1):95-120.
Entropy - A Guide for the Perplexed.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-142.
An empirical approach to symmetry and probability.Jill North - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):27-40.

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References found in this work

Asymmetries in Time.Paul Horwich - 1990 - Noûs 24 (5):804-806.
Determinism and Chance.Barry Loewer - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):609-620.

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