A philosophical explanation of the explanatory functions of ergodic theory

Philosophy of Science 45 (1):47-59 (1978)
The purported failures of ergodic theory (seen in its often proved ineptitude to ground a mechanical explanation of thermodynamics) are shown to arise from misconception of the functions served by scientific explanation. In fact, the predictive failures of ergodic theory are precisely its points of greatest physical utility, where genuinely new knowledge about actual physical systems can be obtained, once the links between explanation and reconstructive estimation are recognized
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