Switch to: References

Add citations

You must login to add citations.
  1. When does a Boltzmannian equilibrium exist?Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2016 - In Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg (eds.).
    The received wisdom in statistical mechanics is that isolated systems, when left to themselves, approach equilibrium. But under what circumstances does an equilibrium state exist and an approach to equilibrium take place? In this paper we address these questions from the vantage point of the long-run fraction of time definition of Boltzmannian equilibrium that we developed in two recent papers. After a short summary of Boltzmannian statistical mechanics and our definition of equilibrium, we state an existence theorem which provides general (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • The Arrow of Time in Physics.David Wallace - 2013 - In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 262–281.
    Every process studied in any science other than physics defines an arrow of time – to say nothing for the directedness of the processes of causation, inference, memory, control, and counterfactual dependence that occur in everyday life. The discussion in this chapter is confined to the arrow of time as it occurs in physics. The chapter briefly discusses those features of microscopic physics, which seem to conflict with time asymmetry. It explains just how this conflict plays out in the important (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   22 citations  
  • Pluralists about Pluralism? Versions of Explanatory Pluralism in Psychiatry.Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2014 - In Thomas Uebel (ed.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Science. Cham: Springer. pp. 105-119.
    In this contribution, I comment on Raffaella Campaner’s defense of explanatory pluralism in psychiatry (in this volume). In her paper, Campaner focuses primarily on explanatory pluralism in contrast to explanatory reductionism. Furthermore, she distinguishes between pluralists who consider pluralism to be a temporary state on the one hand and pluralists who consider it to be a persisting state on the other hand. I suggest that it would be helpful to distinguish more than those two versions of pluralism – different understandings (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   45 citations  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • What’s so special about initial conditions? Understanding the past hypothesis in directionless time.Matt Farr - 2022 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking Laws of Nature. 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. (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Neo-Nagelian reduction: a statement, defence, and application.Foad Dizadji-Bahmani - 2011 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    The thesis proposes, defends, and applies a new model of inter-theoretic reduction, called "Neo-Nagelian" reduction. There are numerous accounts of inter-theoretic reduction in the philosophy of science literature but the most well-known and widely-discussed is the Nagelian one. In the thesis I identify various kinds of problems which the Nagelian model faces. Whilst some of these can be resolved, pressing ones remain. In lieu of the Nagelian model, other models of inter-theoretic reduction have been proposed, chief amongst which are so-called (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • Stable regularities without governing laws?Aldo Filomeno - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66:186-197.
    Can stable regularities be explained without appealing to governing laws or any other modal notion? In this paper, I consider what I will call a ‘Humean system’—a generic dynamical system without guiding laws—and assess whether it could display stable regularities. First, I present what can be interpreted as an account of the rise of stable regularities, following from Strevens [2003], which has been applied to explain the patterns of complex systems (such as those from meteorology and statistical mechanics). Second, since (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  • Equilibrium in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2022 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. London, UK: Routledge.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Rethinking boltzmannian equilibrium.Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1224-1235.
    Boltzmannian statistical mechanics partitions the phase space of a sys- tem into macro-regions, and the largest of these is identified with equilibrium. What justifies this identification? Common answers focus on Boltzmann’s combinatorial argument, the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, and maxi- mum entropy considerations. We argue that they fail and present a new answer. We characterise equilibrium as the macrostate in which a system spends most of its time and prove a new theorem establishing that equilib- rium thus defined corresponds to the largest (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   18 citations  
  • Reconceptualising equilibrium in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics and characterising its existence.Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:19-31.
    In Boltzmannian statistical mechanics macro-states supervene on micro-states. This leads to a partitioning of the state space of a system into regions of macroscopically indistinguishable micro-states. The largest of these regions is singled out as the equilibrium region of the system. What justifies this association? We review currently available answers to this question and find them wanting both for conceptual and for technical reasons. We propose a new conception of equilibrium and prove a mathematical theorem which establishes in full generality (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  • Typicality, Irreversibility and the Status of Macroscopic Laws.Dustin Lazarovici & Paula Reichert - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):689-716.
    We discuss Boltzmann’s probabilistic explanation of the second law of thermodynamics providing a comprehensive presentation of what is called today the typicality account. Countering its misconception as an alternative explanation, we examine the relation between Boltzmann’s H-theorem and the general typicality argument demonstrating the conceptual continuity between the two. We then discuss the philosophical dimensions of the concept of typicality and its relevance for scientific reasoning in general, in particular for understanding the reduction of macroscopic laws to microscopic laws. Finally, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   28 citations  
  • Demystifying Typicality.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):917-929.
    A gas prepared in a non-equilibrium state will approach equilibrium and stay there. An influential contemporary approach to Statistical Mechanics explains this behaviour in terms of typicality. However, this explanation has been criticised as mysterious as long as no connection with the dynamics of the system is established. We take this criticism as our point of departure. Our central claim is that Hamiltonians of gases which are epsilon-ergodic are typical with respect to the Whitney topology. Because equilibrium states are typical, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   23 citations  
  • Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the free energy principle in biology.Matteo Colombo & Patricia Palacios - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (5):1-26.
    According to the free energy principle, life is an “inevitable and emergent property of any random dynamical system at non-equilibrium steady state that possesses a Markov blanket” :20130475, 2013). Formulating a principle for the life sciences in terms of concepts from statistical physics, such as random dynamical system, non-equilibrium steady state and ergodicity, places substantial constraints on the theoretical and empirical study of biological systems. Thus far, however, the physics foundations of the free energy principle have received hardly any attention. (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  • Can somebody please say what Gibbsian statistical mechanics says?Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:1-27.
    Gibbsian statistical mechanics (GSM) is the most widely used version of statistical mechanics among working physicists. Yet a closer look at GSM reveals that it is unclear what the theory actually says and how it bears on experimental practice. The root cause of the difficulties is the status of the Averaging Principle, the proposition that what we observe in an experiment is the ensemble average of a phase function. We review different stances toward this principle, and eventually present a coherent (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  • Philosophy of statistical mechanics.Lawrence Sklar - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  • Typicality of Dynamics and the Laws of Nature.Aldo Filomeno - 2023 - In Cristián Soto (ed.), Current Debates in Philosophy of Science: In Honor of Roberto Torretti. Springer Verlag.
    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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • Equilibrium in Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2022 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. London, UK: Routledge.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • How many aims are we aiming at?Joshua Luczak - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):244-254.
    I highlight that the aim of using statistical mechanics to underpin irreversible processes is, strictly speaking, ambiguous. Traditionally, however, the task of underpinning irreversible processes has been thought to be synonymous with underpinning the Second Law of thermodynamics. I claim that contributors to the foundational discussion are best interpreted as aiming to provide a microphysical justification of the Minus First Law, despite the ways their aims are often stated. I suggest that contributors should aim at accounting for both the Minus (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • On Gases in Boxes: A Reply to Davey on the Justification of the Probability Measure in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics.Elay Shech - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (4):593-605.
    Kevin Davey claims that the justification of the second law of thermodynamics as it is conveyed by the “standard story” of statistical mechanics, roughly speaking, that lowentropy microstates tend to evolve to high-entropy microstates, is “unhelpful at best and wrong at worst.” In reply, I demonstrate that Davey’s argument for rejecting the standard story commits him to a form of skepticism that is more radical than the position he claims to be stating and that Davey places unreasonable demands on the (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • 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, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Rethinking Individuality in Quantum Mechanics.Nathan Moore - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    One recent debate in philosophy of physics has centered whether quantum particles are individuals or not. The received view is that particles are not individuals and the standard methodology is to approach the question via the structure of quantum theory. I challenge both the received view and the standard methodology. I contend not only that the structure of quantum theory is not the right place to look for conditions of individuality that quantum particles may or may not satisfy, but also (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • On Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics.Joshua M. Luczak - unknown
    This thesis makes the issue of reconciling the existence of thermodynamically irreversible processes with underlying reversible dynamics clear, so as to help explain what philosophers mean when they say that an aim of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics is to underpin aspects of thermodynamics. Many of the leading attempts to reconcile the existence of thermodynamically irreversible processes with underlying reversible dynamics proceed by way of discussions that attempt to underpin the following qualitative facts: (i) that isolated macroscopic systems that begin away from (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Justifying typicality measures of Boltzmannian statistical mechanics and dynamical systems.Charlotte Werndl - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):470-479.
    A popular view in contemporary Boltzmannian statistical mechanics is to interpret the measures as typicality measures. In measure-theoretic dynamical systems theory measures can similarly be interpreted as typicality measures. However, a justification why these measures are a good choice of typicality measures is missing, and the paper attempts to fill this gap. The paper first argues that Pitowsky's (2012) justification of typicality measures does not fit the bill. Then a first proposal of how to justify typicality measures is presented. The (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
  • When do Gibbsian phase averages and Boltzmannian equilibrium values agree?Charlotte Werndl & Roman Frigg - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:46-69.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation