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Unsharp Humean Chances in Statistical Physics: A Reply to Beisbart

Glynn, Luke and Dardashti, Radin and Thebault, Karim P Y and Frisch, Mathias (2013) Unsharp Humean Chances in Statistical Physics: A Reply to Beisbart. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In an illuminating article, Claus Beisbart argues that the recently-popular thesis that the probabilities of statistical mechanics (SM) are Best System chances runs into a serious obstacle: there is no one axiomatization of SM that is robustly best, as judged by the theoretical virtues of simplicity, strength, and fit. Beisbart takes this 'no clear winner' result to imply that the probabilities yielded by the competing axiomatizations simply fail to count as Best System chances. In this reply, we express sympathy for the 'no clear winner' thesis. However, we argue that an importantly different moral should be drawn from this. We contend that the implication for Humean chances is not that there are no SM chances, but rather that SM chances fail to be sharp.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Glynn, Lukelglynn@caltech.edu
Dardashti, RadinRadin.Dardashti@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Thebault, Karim P Ykarim.thebault@gmail.com
Frisch, Mathiasmfrisch@umd.edu
Keywords: Best System Analysis; Chance; Unsharp Probability; Statistical Mechanics
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Dr. Luke Fenton-Glynn
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 14:44
Last Modified: 29 May 2013 14:44
Item ID: 9794
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 28 May 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9794

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