Infinite Idealizations

Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:197-210 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

1. Approximations of arbitrarily large but finite systems are often mistaken for infinite idealizations in statistical and thermal physics. The problem is illustrated by thermodynamically reversible processes. They are approximations of processes requiring arbitrarily long, but finite times to complete, not processes requiring an actual infinity of time.2. The present debate over whether phase transitions comprise a failure of reduction is confounded by a confusion of two senses of “level”: the molecular versus the thermodynamic level and the few component versus the many component level

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,168

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Critical phenomena and breaking drops: Infinite idealizations in physics.Robert Batterman - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):225-244.
Explaining the emergence of cooperative phenomena.Chuang Liu - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):106.
Expanding the Scope of Explanatory Idealization.Andrew Wayne - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):830-841.
Laws and models in a theory of idealization.Chuang Liu - 2004 - Synthese 138 (3):363 - 385.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-01-24

Downloads
118 (#107,271)

6 months
3 (#224,651)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

John D. Norton
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
The impossible process: Thermodynamic reversibility.John D. Norton - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 55:43-61.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

More is different.P. W. Anderson - 1994 - In H. Gutfreund & G. Toulouse (eds.), Biology and Computation: A Physicist's Choice. World Scientific. pp. 3--21.
Taking Thermodynamics Too Seriously.Craig Callender - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):539-553.

View all 10 references / Add more references