Entropy and the Direction of Time

Entropy 23 (4):388 (2021)
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Abstract

The paper tries to demonstrate that the process of the increase of entropy does not explain the asymmetry of time itself because it is unable to account for its fundamental asymmetries, that is, the asymmetry of traces (we have traces of the past and no traces of the future), the asymmetry of causation (we have an impact on future events with no possibility of having an impact on the past), and the asymmetry between the fixed past and the open future, To this end, the approaches of Boltzmann, Reichenbach (and his followers), and Albert are analysed. It is argued that we should look for alternative approaches instead of this, namely we should consider a temporally asymmetrical physical theory or seek a source of the asymmetry of time in metaphysics. This second approach may even turn out to be complementary if only we accept that metaphysics can complement scientific research programmes.

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Jerzy Gołosz
Jagiellonian University

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