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  1. Review of M Aking Things Happen.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):545-547.
    Woodward's long awaited book is an attempt to construct a comprehensive account of causation explanation that applies to a wide variety of causal and explanatory claims in different areas of science and everyday life. The book engages some of the relevant literature from other disciplines, as Woodward weaves together examples, counterexamples, criticisms, defences, objections, and replies into a convincing defence of the core of his theory, which is that we can analyse causation by appeal to the notion of manipulation.
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  • Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
  • Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
    Some claim that Non- reductive Physicalism is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism, or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety. I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of freedom (...)
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  • Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.Jessica Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
    Some claim that Non-reductive Physicalism is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism, or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety. I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of freedom needed (...)
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  • Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.
    Philosophers of science increasingly recognize the importance of idealization: the intentional introduction of distortion into scientific theories. Yet this recognition has not yielded consensus about the nature of idealization. e literature of the past thirty years contains disparate characterizations and justifications, but little evidence of convergence towards a common position.
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  • The Quantitative Content of Statistical Mechanics.David Wallace - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):285-293.
  • The Principles of Statistical Mechanics.Richard C. Tolman - 1939 - Philosophy of Science 6 (3):381-381.
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  • From Physics to Metaphysics.Paul Teller - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):272.
    The book is drawn from the Tarner lectures, delivered in Cambridge in 1993. It is concerned with the ultimate nature of reality, and how this is revealed by modern physical theories such as relativity and quantum theory. The objectivity and rationality of science are defended against the views of relativists and social constructionists. It is claimed that modern physics gives us a tentative and fallible, but nevertheless rational, approach to the nature of physical reality. The role of subjectivity in science (...)
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  • When We Do (and Do Not) Have a Classical Arrow of Time.Bryan W. Roberts - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1112-1124.
    I point out that some common folk wisdom about time reversal invariance in classical mechanics is strictly incorrect, by showing some explicit examples in which classical time reversal invariance fails, even among conservative systems. I then show that there is nevertheless a broad class of familiar classical systems that are time reversal invariant.
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  • Three Myths About Time Reversal in Quantum Theory.Bryan W. Roberts - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):315-334.
    Many have suggested that the transformation standardly referred to as `time reversal' in quantum theory is not deserving of the name. I argue on the contrary that the standard definition is perfectly appropriate, and is indeed forced by basic considerations about the nature of time in the quantum formalism.
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  • The Spin-Echo Experiments and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.T. M. Ridderbos & M. L. G. Redhead - 1998 - Foundations of Physics 28 (8):1237-1270.
    We introduce a simple model for so-called spin-echo experiments. We show that the model is a mincing system. On the basis of this model we study fine-grained entropy and coarse-grained entropy descriptions of these experiments. The coarse-grained description is shown to be unable to provide an explanation of the echo signals, as a result of the way in which it ignores dynamically generated correlations. This conclusion is extended to the general debate on the foundations of statistical mechanics. We emphasize the (...)
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  • The Coarse-Graining Approach to Statistical Mechanics: How Blissful is Our Ignorance?Katinka Ridderbos - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (1):65-77.
  • The Coarse-Graining Approach to Statistical Mechanics: How Blissful is Our Ignorance?Katinka Ridderbos - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (1):65-77.
    In this paper I first argue that the objection which is most commonly levelled against the coarse-graining approach-viz. that it introduces an element of subjectivity into what ought to be a purely objective formalism-is ultimately unfounded. I then proceed to argue that two different objections to the coarse-graining approach indicate that it is an inadequate approach to statistical mechanics. The first objection is based on the fact that the appeal to appearances by the coarse-graining approach fails to justify the coarse-graining (...)
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  • Review of T He Direction of Time.J. J. C. Smart - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (30):72-77.
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  • The Direction of Time.Milic Capek - 1959 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 19 (3):402-405.
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  • The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.
    The final work of a distinguished physicist, this remarkable volume examines the emotive significance of time, the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and microstatistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum physics. Coherent discussions include accounts of analytic methods of scientific philosophy in the investigation of probability, quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and causality. "[Reichenbach’s] best by a good deal."—Physics Today. 1971 ed.
  • Time’s Arrow and Archimedes’ Point.Huw Price - 1996 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):1093-1096.
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  • From Being to Becoming: Time and Complexity in the Physical Sciences. Ilya Prigogine.Cliff Hooker - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):355-357.
  • Approximation and Idealization: Why the Difference Matters.John D. Norton - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):207-232.
    It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit systems used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but are merely approximations. A dominance argument suggests that the limiting idealizations of statistical physics should be demoted to approximations.
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  • Galilean Idealization.Ernan McMullin - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):247.
  • Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):852-883.
    Scientists and philosophers frequently speak about levels of description, levels of explanation, and ontological levels. In this paper, I propose a unified framework for modelling levels. I give a general definition of a system of levels and show that it can accommodate descriptive, explanatory, and ontological notions of levels. I further illustrate the usefulness of this framework by applying it to some salient philosophical questions: (1) Is there a linear hierarchy of levels, with a fundamental level at the bottom? And (...)
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  • Emergent Chance.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):119-152.
    We offer a new argument for the claim that there can be non-degenerate objective chance (“true randomness”) in a deterministic world. Using a formal model of the relationship between different levels of description of a system, we show how objective chance at a higher level can coexist with its absence at a lower level. Unlike previous arguments for the level-specificity of chance, our argument shows, in a precise sense, that higher-level chance does not collapse into epistemic probability, despite higher-level properties (...)
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  • The Spin-Echo System Reconsidered.D. A. Lavis - 2004 - Foundations of Physics 34 (4):669-688.
    Simple models have played an important role in the discussion of foundational issues in statistical mechanics. Among them the spin-echo system is of particular interest since it can be realized experimentally. This has led to inferences being drawn about approaches to the foundations of statistical mechanics, particularly with respect to the use of coarse-graining. We examine these claims with the help of computer simulations.
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  • Abstraction and its Limits: Finding Space For Novel Explanation.Eleanor Knox - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):41-60.
    Several modern accounts of explanation acknowledge the importance of abstraction and idealization for our explanatory practice. However, once we allow a role for abstraction, questions remain. I ask whether the relation between explanations at different theoretical levels should be thought of wholly in terms of abstraction, and argue that changes of the quantities in terms of which we describe a system can lead to novel explanations that are not merely abstractions of some more detailed picture. I use the example of (...)
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  • The “Past Hypothesis”: Not Even False.John Earman - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (3):399-430.
    It has become something of a dogma in the philosophy of science that modern cosmology has completed Boltzmann's program for explaining the statistical validity of the Second Law of thermodynamics by providing the low entropy initial state needed to ground the asymmetry in entropic behavior that underwrites our inference about the past. This dogma is challenged on several grounds. In particular, it is argued that it is likely that the Boltzmann entropy of the initial state of the universe is an (...)
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  • Real Patterns.Daniel C. Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.
    Are there really beliefs? Or are we learning (from neuroscience and psychology, presumably) that, strictly speaking, beliefs are figments of our imagination, items in a superceded ontology? Philosophers generally regard such ontological questions as admitting just two possible answers: either beliefs exist or they don't. There is no such state as quasi-existence; there are no stable doctrines of semi-realism. Beliefs must either be vindicated along with the viruses or banished along with the banshees. A bracing conviction prevails, then, to the (...)
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  • Entropy in Relation to Incomplete Knowledge. K. G. Denbigh, J. S. Denbigh.Michael J. Zenzen - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (3):451-452.
  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Storrs Mccall - 2003 - Mind 112 (445):99-106.
  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):244-247.
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  • Reducing Thermodynamics to Statistical Mechanics: The Case of Entropy.Craig Callender - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (7):348-373.
  • Less is Different: Emergence and Reduction Reconciled. [REVIEW]Jeremy Butterfield - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (6):1065-1135.
    This is a companion to another paper. Together they rebut two widespread philosophical doctrines about emergence. The first, and main, doctrine is that emergence is incompatible with reduction. The second is that emergence is supervenience; or more exactly, supervenience without reduction.In the other paper, I develop these rebuttals in general terms, emphasising the second rebuttal. Here I discuss the situation in physics, emphasising the first rebuttal. I focus on limiting relations between theories and illustrate my claims with four examples, each (...)
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  • On the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science.Robert W. Batterman - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):1-25.
    This paper examines contemporary attempts to explicate the explanatory role of mathematics in the physical sciences. Most such approaches involve developing so-called mapping accounts of the relationships between the physical world and mathematical structures. The paper argues that the use of idealizations in physical theorizing poses serious difficulties for such mapping accounts. A new approach to the applicability of mathematics is proposed.
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  • Physics and Chance: Philosophical Issues in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics.Robert Batterman & Lawrence Sklar - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (4):624.
    Philosophers of physics are very familiar with foundational problems in quantum mechanics and in the theory of relativity. In both fields, the puzzles, if not solved, are at least reasonably well formulated and possess well-characterized solution strategies. Sklar’s book Physics and Chance focuses on a pair of theories, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, for which puzzles and foundational paradoxes abound, but where there is very little agreement upon the means with which they may best be approached. As he notes in the (...)
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  • Time and Chance.S. French - 2005 - Mind 114 (453):113-116.
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  • The Logic of Thermostatistical Physics.Gerard G. Emch & Chuang Liu - 2002 - Springer Verlag.
    This book is devoted to a thorough analysis of the role that models play in the practise of physical theory. The authors, a mathematical physicist and a philosopher of science, appeal to the logicians’ notion of model theory as well as to the concepts of physicists.
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  • Physics and Chance.Lawrence Sklar - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):145-149.
    Statistical mechanics is one of the crucial fundamental theories of physics, and in his new book Lawrence Sklar, one of the pre-eminent philosophers of physics, offers a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to that theory and to attempts to understand its foundational elements. Among the topics treated in detail are: probability and statistical explanation, the basic issues in both equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, the role of cosmology, the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, and the alleged foundation of the very notion (...)
     
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  • The Physics of Time Asymmetry.Paul Davies - 1974 - University of California Press.
    The physics of time asymmetry has never been a single well-defined subject, but more a collection of consistency problems which arise in almost all branches ...
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  • There Is No Puzzle About the Low Entropy Past.Craig Callender - 2004 - In Christopher Hitchcock (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. pp. 240-255.
    Suppose that God or a demon informs you of the following future fact: despite recent cosmological evidence, the universe is indeed closed and it will have a ‘final’ instant of time; moreover, at that final moment, all 49 of the world’s Imperial Faberge eggs will be in your bedroom bureau’s sock drawer. You’re absolutely certain that this information is true. All of your other dealings with supernatural powers have demonstrated that they are a trustworthy lot.
     
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  • Physics and Chance: Philosophical Issues in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics.Lawrence Sklar - 1993 - Cambridge University Press.
    Statistical mechanics is one of the crucial fundamental theories of physics, and in his new book Lawrence Sklar, one of the pre-eminent philosophers of physics, offers a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to that theory and to attempts to understand its foundational elements. Among the topics treated in detail are: probability and statistical explanation, the basic issues in both equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, the role of cosmology, the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, and the alleged foundation of the very notion (...)
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  • Real Patterns.Daniel Dennett - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):27-51.
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  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave in (...)
  • The Physical Basis of the Direction of Time.Heinz Dieter Zeh - 1989 - Springer.
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  • Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
    Approaches to explanation -- Causal and explanatory relevance -- The kairetic account of /D making -- The kairetic account of explanation -- Extending the kairetic account -- Event explanation and causal claims -- Regularity explanation -- Abstraction in regularity explanation -- Approaches to probabilistic explanation -- Kairetic explanation of frequencies -- Kairetic explanation of single outcomes -- Looking outward -- Looking inward.
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  • Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature.I. Prigogine - 1984 - Random House.
    Uitleg van nieuwe wetenschappelijke-wijsgerige visies op de natuurwetten, in het bijzonder in de thermodynamica, berustend op het belang van de instabiliteit van bestaande systemen.
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  • Emergent Properties.Hong Yu Wong - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Emergence is a notorious philosophical term of art. A variety of theorists have appropriated it for their purposes ever since George Henry Lewes gave it a philosophical sense in his 1875 Problems of Life and Mind. We might roughly characterize the shared meaning thus: emergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them. (For example, it is sometimes said that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.) Each (...)
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  • Strong and Weak Emergence.David J. Chalmers - 2006 - In P. Davies & P. Clayton (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis From Science to Religion. Oxford University Press.
    The term ‘emergence’ often causes confusion in science and philosophy, as it is used to express at least two quite different concepts. We can label these concepts _strong_ _emergence_ and _weak emergence_. Both of these concepts are important, but it is vital to keep them separate.
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  • The Arrow of Time in Physics.David Wallace - unknown
    I provide a self-contained introduction to the problem of the arrow of time in physics, concentrating on the irreversibility of dynamical processes as described in statistical mechanics.
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  • A Field Guide to Recent Work on the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg - 2008 - In Dean Rickles (ed.), The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics. London, U.K.: Ashgate. pp. 99-196.
    This is an extensive review of recent work on the foundations of statistical mechanics.
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  • Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow’, Reprinted with Postscripts In.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Philosophical Papers 2.
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  • Causal Explanation.David Lewis - 1986 - In Philosophical Papers Vol. Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 214-240.