David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 30 (1):1-40 (1999)
In this second part of our two-part paper we review and analyse attempts since 1950 to use information theoretic notions to exorcise Maxwell’s Demon. We argue through a simple dilemma that these attempted exorcisms are ineffective, whether they follow Szilard in seeking a compensating entropy cost in information acquisition or Landauer in seeking that cost in memory erasure. In so far as the Demon is a thermodynamic system already governed by the Second Law, no further supposition about information and entropy is needed to save the Second Law. In so far as the Demon fails to be such a system, no supposition about the entropy cost of information acquisition and processing can save the Second Law from the Demon.
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Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker (2011). Szilard's Perpetuum Mobile. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):264-283.
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