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Measures, Explanations and the Past: Should 'Special' Initial Conditions be Explained?

Callender, Craig (2004) Measures, Explanations and the Past: Should 'Special' Initial Conditions be Explained? [Preprint]

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Abstract

For the generalizations of thermodynamics to obtain, it appears that a very “special” initial condition of the universe is required. Is this initial condition itself in need of explanation? I argue that it is not. In so doing, I offer a framework in which to think about “special” initial conditions in all areas of science, though I concentrate on the case of thermodynamics. I urge the view that it is not always a serious mark against a theory that it must posit an “improbable” initial condition.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Callender, Craig
Additional Information: Forthcoming in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Keywords: second law of thermodynamics; initial conditions; measures; explanation; entropy; time
Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Craig Callender
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2004
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 1740
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1740

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