David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1028-1038 (2003)
Lawrence Sklar in his book, Physics and Chance (1993), proposes a sophisticated account of reduction of thermodynamics (TD) by statistical mechanics (SM). I argue that Sklar's analysis of the alleged reduction of TD by SM is problematic in several respects. I consider a few counterexamples to show that none of what Sklar takes to be the central features of successful reduction in science (unification and identification) holds in the case of TD and SM. I suggest the broader conclusion that a more useful way of understanding the relationship between TD and SM is as collaboration and competition among alternative methodologies rather than reduction of one theory to another.
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