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  1. added 2020-05-04
    The Structure of Space and Time, and Physical Indeterminacy.Hanoch Ben-Yami - manuscript
    I introduce a sequence which I call indefinite: a sequence every element of which has a successor but whose number of elements is bounded; this is no contradiction. I then consider the possibility of space and time being indefinitely divisible. This is theoretically possible and agrees with experience. If this is space and time’s structure, then even if the laws of nature are deterministic, the behaviour of physical systems will be probabilistic. This approach may also shed light on directionality in (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-16
    Mind-Body Interaction and Modern Physics.Charis Anastopoulos - manuscript
    The idea that mind and body are distinct entities that interact is often claimed to be incompatible with physics. The aim of this paper is to disprove this claim. To this end, we construct a broad mathematical framework that describes theories with mind-body interaction (MBI) as an extension of current physical theories. We employ histories theory, i.e., a formulation of physical theories in which a physical system is described in terms of (i) a set of propositions about possible evolutions of (...)
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  3. added 2019-06-21
    The Past Histories of Molecules.Craig Callender - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 83--113.
    This chapter unfolds a central philosophical problem of statistical mechanics. This problem lies in a clash between the Static Probabilities offered by statistical mechanics and the Dynamic Probabilities provided by classical or quantum mechanics. The chapter looks at the Boltzmann and Gibbs approaches in statistical mechanics and construes some of the great controversies in the field — for instance the Reversibility Paradox — as instances of this conflict. It furthermore argues that a response to this conflict is a critical choice (...)
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  4. added 2019-03-07
    Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature.Valia Allori (ed.) - forthcoming - World Scientific.
    The book explores several open questions in the philosophy of statistical mechanics. Each chapter is written by a leading expert in the field. Here is a list of some questions that are addressed in the book: 1) Boltzmann showed how the phenomenological gas laws of thermodynamics can be derived from statistical mechanics. Since classical mechanics is a deterministic theory there are no probabilities in it. Since statistical mechanics is based on classical mechanics, all the probabilities statistical mechanics talks about cannot (...)
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  5. added 2018-09-17
    Chance in Science: The Discovery of Electromagnetism by H.C. Oersted.Nahum Kipnis - 2005 - Science & Education 14 (1):1-28.
    Ignoring therole of chance in science distorts the nature of the scientific process. Teachers can address this issue by means of several in-depth historical case studies, such as the discovery of electromagnetism by Oersted. Oersted was led to his lecture experiment by logic (two new hypotheses), but its success from the first trial was largely due to chance. Reproducing Oersted's experiment in the classroom complements the story by atlowing students to see for themselves the role of some accidental factors, such (...)
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  6. added 2018-05-22
    Anthropic Reasoning Does Not Conflict with Observation.Dien Ho & Bradley Monton - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):42–45.
    We grant that anthropic reasoning yields the result that we should not expect to be in a small civilization. However, regardless of what civilization one finds oneself in, one can use anthropic reasoning to get the result that one should not expect to be in that sort of civilization. Hence, contra Ken Olum, anthropic reasoning does not conflict with observation.
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  7. added 2017-07-07
    Is QBism the Future of Quantum Physics? [REVIEW]Kelvin McQueen - 2017 - Quantum Times 2017.
    The purpose of this book is to explain Quantum Bayesianism (‘QBism’) to “people without easy access to mathematical formulas and equations” (4-5). Qbism is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that “doesn’t meddle with the technical aspects of the theory [but instead] reinterprets the fundamental terms of the theory and gives them new meaning” (3). The most important motivation for QBism, enthusiastically stated on the book’s cover, is that QBism provides “a way past quantum theory’s paradoxes and puzzles” such that much (...)
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  8. added 2017-05-04
    Design Inferences in an Infinite Universe.Bradley Monton - 2007 - In Jon Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, Volume 2. Oxford University Press.
    How are inferences to design affected when one makes the (plausible) assumption that the universe is spatially infinite? I will show that arguments for the existence of God based on the improbable development of life don’t go through. I will also show that the model of design inferences promulgated by William Dembski is flawed. My model for design inferences has the (desirable) consequence that there are circumstances where a seeming miracle can count as evidence for the existence of God, even (...)
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  9. added 2016-08-31
    The Common Cause Principle. Explanation Via Screening Off.Leszek Wronski - 2010 - Dissertation, Jagiellonian University
    My Ph.D. dissertation written under the supervision of Prof. Tomasz Placek at the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In one of its most basic and informal shapes, the principle of the common cause states that any surprising correlation between two factors which are believed not to directly influence one another is due to their common cause. Here we will be concerned with a version od this idea which possesses a purely probabilistic formulation. It was introduced, in (...)
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  10. added 2016-04-07
    Undermined.Gordon Belot - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):781-791.
    ABSTRACTA popular strategy for understanding the probabilities that arise in physics is to interpret them via reductionist accounts of chance—indeed, it is sometimes claimed that such accounts are uniquely well-suited to make sense of the probabilities in classical statistical mechanics. Here it is argued that reductionist accounts of chance carry a steep but unappreciated cost: when applied to physical theories of the relevant type, they inevitably distort the relations of probability that they take as input.
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  11. added 2016-01-06
    Causation, Probability, and the Continuity Bind.Anthony F. Peressini - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):881-909.
    Analyses of singular causation often make use of the idea that a cause increases the probability of its effect. Of particular salience in such accounts are the values of the probability function of the effect, conditional on the presence and absence of the putative cause, analysed around the times of the events in question: causes are characterized by the effect’s probability function being greater when conditionalized upon them. Put this way, it becomes clearer that the ‘behaviour’ of probability functions in (...)
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  12. added 2015-09-24
    Probabilities in Physics.Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume is the first to provide a philosophical appraisal of probabilities in all of physics.
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  13. added 2015-09-24
    Introduction.Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press.
    Many results of modern physics—those of quantum mechanics, for instance—come in a probabilistic guise. But what do probabilistic statements in physics mean? Are probabilities matters of objective fact and part of the furniture of the world, as objectivists think? Or do they only express ignorance or belief, as Bayesians suggest? And how are probabilistic hypotheses justified and supported by empirical evidence? Finally, what does the probabilistic nature of physics imply for our understanding of the world? This volume is the first (...)
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  14. added 2015-09-08
    Review of Toby Handfield, A Philosophical Guide to Chance. [REVIEW]Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2013 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2013.
    This is a review of Toby Handfield's book, "A Philosophical Guide to Chance", that discusses Handfield's Debunking Argument against realist accounts of chance.
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  15. added 2014-12-27
    Causes, Probabilities and Propensities in Physics.Mauricio Suarez - 2010 - Springer.
    Table of Contents: Preface.- 1. Introduction; Mauricio Suárez.- PART I: PROBABILITIES.- 2. Probability and time symmetry in classical Markov processes; Guido Bacciagaluppi.- 3. Probability assignments and the principle of indifference: An examination of two eliminative strategies; Sorin Bangu.- 4. Why typicality does not explain the approach to equilibrium; Roman Frigg; PART II: CAUSES.- 5. From metaphysics to physics and back: The example of causation; Federico Laudisa.- 6. On explanation in retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics; Joseph Berkovitz.- 7. Causal completeness in (...)
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  16. added 2014-08-01
    Quantum Model of Classical Mechanics: Maximum Entropy Packets. [REVIEW]P. Hájíček - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (9):1072-1096.
    In a previous paper, a statistical method of constructing quantum models of classical properties has been described. The present paper concludes the description by turning to classical mechanics. The quantum states that maximize entropy for given averages and variances of coordinates and momenta are called ME packets. They generalize the Gaussian wave packets. A non-trivial extension of the partition-function method of probability calculus to quantum mechanics is given. Non-commutativity of quantum variables limits its usefulness. Still, the general form of the (...)
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  17. added 2014-05-16
    Quantum Mechanics, Chance and Modality.Dennis Dieks - 2010 - Philosophica 83 (1):117-137.
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  18. added 2014-01-28
    Is the Past a Matter of Chance?Antony Eagle - 2014 - In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. U.K: Oxford University Press. pp. 126-158.
    This volume sets the agenda for future work on time and chance, which are central to theemerging sub-field of metaphysics of science.
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  19. added 2011-04-08
    Reichenbach’s Common Cause Principle and Indeterminism: A Review.Iñaki San Pedro & Mauricio Suárez - 2009 - In José Luis González Recio (ed.), Philosophical Essays on Physics and Biology. Georg Olms Verlag. pp. 223-250.
    We offer a review of some of the most influential views on the status of Reichenbach’s Principle of the Common Cause (RPCC) for genuinely indeterministic systems. We first argue that the RPCC is properly a conjunction of two distinct claims, one metaphysical and another methodological. Both claims can and have been contested in the literature, but here we simply assume that the metaphysical claim is correct, in order to focus our analysis on the status of the methodological claim. We briefly (...)
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