Extrinsic and intrinsic irreversibility in probabilistic dynamical laws

Two distinct conceptions for the relation between reversible, time-reversal invariant laws of nature and the irreversible behavior of physical systems are outlined. The standard, extrinsic concept of irreversibility is based on the notion of an open system interacting with its environment. An alternative, intrinsic concept of irreversibility does not explicitly refer to any environment at all. Basic aspects of the two concepts are presented and compared with each other. The significance of the terms extrinsic and intrinsic is discussed.
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Robert C. Bishop (2004). Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics Brussels–Austin Style. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (1):1-30.

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