PhilSci Archive

Good just isn't good enough - Humean chances and Boltzmannian statistical physics

Beisbart, Claus (2013) Good just isn't good enough - Humean chances and Boltzmannian statistical physics. [Preprint]

WarningThere is a more recent version of this item available.
[img]
Preview
PDF
good_print.pdf - Draft Version

Download (304kB)

Abstract

Statistical physicists assume a probability distribution over micro-states to explain thermodynamic behavior. The question of this paper is whether these probabilities are part of a best system and can thus be interpreted as Humean chances. I consider two Boltzmannian accounts of the Second Law, viz. a globalist and a localist one. In both cases, the probabilities fail to be chances because they have rivals that are roughly equally good. I conclude with the diagnosis that well-defined micro-probabilities under-estimate the robust character of explanations in statistical physics.


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

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Beisbart, ClausClaus.Beisbart@philo.unibe.ch
Additional Information: submitted to the Proceedings of ESF workshops ``New directions in the philosophy of science'' in the PSE Series ``The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective''
Keywords: ontic probability, D. Lewis, thermodynamics, Boltzmannian statistical physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Claus Beisbart
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2013 08:53
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2014 13:56
Item ID: 9881
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9881

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item