David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):195-217 (2004)
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. Introduction Price's objection What we want explained A range of unlikely initial conditions Brute facts and explanation The best-system analysis Explaining the past state Conclusion Appendix.
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