PhilSci Archive

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]

[img] Microsoft Word (.doc)
Download (112Kb)

    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.


    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:

    Item Type: Preprint
    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 11:12
    Item ID: 1740
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1740

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads