David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 71 (4):489-504 (2004)
In his recent book, Time and Chance, David Albert claims that by positing that there is a uniform probability distribution defined, on the standard measure, over the space of microscopic states that are compatible with both the current macrocondition of the world, and with what he calls the “past hypothesis”, we can explain the time asymmetry of all of the thermodynamic behavior in the world. The principal purpose of this paper is to dispute this claim. I argue that Albert's proposal fails in his stated goal—to show how to use the time‐reversible dynamics of Newtonian physics to “underwrite the actual content of our thermodynamic experience” (Albert 2000, 159). Albert's proposal can satisfactorily explain why the overall entropy of the universe as a whole is increasing, but it does not and cannot explain the increasing entropy of relatively small, relatively short‐lived systems in energetic isolation without making use of a principle that leads to reversibility objections.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Christopher J. G. Meacham (2010). Contemporary Approaches to Statistical Mechanical Probabilities: A Critical Commentary - Part I: The Indifference Approach. Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1116-1126.
Joseph E. Earley (2006). Some Philosophical Influences on Ilya Prigogine's Statistical Mechanics. Foundations of Chemistry 8 (3):271-283.
Jill North (2010). An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):27-40.
Orly Shenker & Meir Hemmo (2011). Introduction to the Philosophy of Statistical Mechanics: Can Probability Explain the Arrow of Time in the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Philosophy Compass 6 (9):640-651.
Alon Drory (2008). Is There a Reversibility Paradox? Recentering the Debate on the Thermodynamic Time Arrow. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (4):889-913.
Similar books and articles
Huw Price (2006). Recent Work on the Arrow of Radiation☆. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (3):498-527.
Peter Mark Ainsworth (2008). Cosmic Inflation and the Past Hypothesis. Synthese 162 (2):157 - 165.
Yuval Dolev (2008). Semantic Externalism and Presentism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):533 – 557.
Craig Callender, Thermodynamic Asymmetry in Time. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mathias Frisch (2010). Does a Low-Entropy Constraint Prevent Us From Influencing the Past? In Andreas Hüttemann & Gerhard Ernst (eds.), Time, Chance, and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. 13--33.
David Wallace (forthcoming). The Logic of the Past Hypothesis. In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Currently-unnamed volume discussing David Albert's "Time and Chance".
Daniel Parker (2005). Thermodynamic Irreversibility: Does the Big Bang Explain What It Purports to Explain? Philosophy of Science 72 (5):751-763.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #84,094 of 1,679,406 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #78,879 of 1,679,406 )
How can I increase my downloads?