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Time and Chance

Harvard University Press (2000)

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  1. An Empirical Investigation of the Role of Direction in our Concept of Time.Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (1):25-47.
    This paper empirically investigates one aspect of the folk concept of time by testing how the presence or absence of directedness impacts judgements about whether there is time in a world. Experiment 1 found that dynamists, showed significantly higher levels of agreement that there is time in dynamically directed worlds than in non-dynamical non-directed worlds. Comparing our results to those we describe in Latham et al., we report that while ~ 70% of dynamists say there is time in B-theory worlds, (...)
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  • Physics and Causation.Michael Esfeld - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1597-1610.
    The paper makes a case for there being causation in the form of causal properties or causal structures in the domain of fundamental physics. That case is built in the first place on an interpretation of quantum theory in terms of state reductions so that there really are both entangled states and classical properties, GRW being the most elaborate physical proposal for such an interpretation. I then argue that the interpretation that goes back to Everett can also be read in (...)
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  • The Logic of the Past Hypothesis.David Wallace - 2011 - In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Currently-unnamed volume discussing David Albert's "Time and Chance".
    I attempt to get as clear as possible on the chain of reasoning by which irreversible macrodynamics is derivable from time-reversible microphysics, and in particular to clarify just what kinds of assumptions about the initial state of the universe, and about the nature of the microdynamics, are needed in these derivations. I conclude that while a “Past Hypothesis” about the early Universe does seem necessary to carry out such derivations, that Hypothesis is not correctly understood as a constraint on the (...)
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  • Bell’s Theorem, Quantum Probabilities, and Superdeterminism.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    In this short survey article, I discuss Bell’s theorem and some strategies that attempt to avoid the conclusion of non-locality. I focus on two that intersect with the philosophy of probability: (1) quantum probabilities and (2) superdeterminism. The issues they raised not only apply to a wide class of no-go theorems about quantum mechanics but are also of general philosophical interest.
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  • Can Science Advance Effectively Through Philosophical Criticism and Reflection?Roberto Torretti - unknown
    Prompted by Hasok Chang’s conception of the history and philosophy of science (HPS) as the continuation of science by other means, I examine the possibility of obtaining scientific knowledge through philosophical criticism and reflection, in the light of four historical cases, concerning (i) the role of absolute space in Newtonian dynamics, (ii) the purported contraction of rods and retardation of clocks in Special Relativity, (iii) the reality of the electromagnetic ether, and (iv) the so-called problem of time’s arrow. In all (...)
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  • Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    If there are fundamental laws of nature, can they fail to be exact? In this paper, I consider the possibility that some fundamental laws are vague. I call this phenomenon 'fundamental nomic vagueness.' I characterize fundamental nomic vagueness as the existence of borderline lawful worlds and the presence of several other accompanying features. Under certain assumptions, such vagueness prevents the fundamental physical theory from being completely expressible in the mathematical language. Moreover, I suggest that such vagueness can be regarded as (...)
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  • The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
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  • Bohmian Dispositions.Mauricio Suárez - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3203-3228.
    This paper argues for a broadly dispositionalist approach to the ontology of Bohmian mechanics . It first distinguishes the ‘minimal’ and the ‘causal’ versions of Bohm’s theory, and then briefly reviews some of the claims advanced on behalf of the ‘causal’ version by its proponents. A number of ontological or interpretive accounts of the wave function in BM are then addressed in detail, including configuration space, multi-field, nomological, and dispositional approaches. The main objection to each account is reviewed, namely the (...)
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  • Philosophical Investigation Series: Selected Texts on Metaphysics, Language and Mind / Série Investigação Filosófica: Textos Selecionados de Metafísica, Linguagem e Mente.Rodrigo Cid & Pedro Merlussi (eds.) - 2020 - Pelotas: Editora da UFPel / NEPFIL Online.
    Um dos grandes desafios da era da informação consiste em filtrar informações claras, rigorosas e atualizadas sobre tópicos importantes. O mesmo vale para a filosofia. Como encontrar conteúdo filosófico confiável em meio a milhares de artigos publicados diariamente na internet? Para ir ainda mais longe, como encontrar uma introdução a algum tópico com uma lista de referências bibliográficas atualizadas e que seja organizada por um especialista da área? Já que você começou a ler este livro, é provável que tenha ouvido (...)
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  • Realism About the Wave Function.Eddy Keming Chen - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (7).
    A century after the discovery of quantum mechanics, the meaning of quantum mechanics still remains elusive. This is largely due to the puzzling nature of the wave function, the central object in quantum mechanics. If we are realists about quantum mechanics, how should we understand the wave function? What does it represent? What is its physical meaning? Answering these questions would improve our understanding of what it means to be a realist about quantum mechanics. In this survey article, I review (...)
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  • Information-Theoretic Statistical Mechanics Without Landauer’s Principle.Daniel Parker - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):831-856.
    This article distinguishes two different senses of information-theoretic approaches to statistical mechanics that are often conflated in the literature: those relating to the thermodynamic cost of computational processes and those that offer an interpretation of statistical mechanics where the probabilities are treated as epistemic. This distinction is then investigated through Earman and Norton’s ([1999]) ‘sound’ and ‘profound’ dilemma for information-theoretic exorcisms of Maxwell’s demon. It is argued that Earman and Norton fail to countenance a ‘sound’ information-theoretic interpretation and this paper (...)
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  • Against Counterfactual Miracles.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (2):241-286.
    This paper considers how counterfactuals should be evaluated on the assumption that determinism is true. I argue against Lewis's influential view that the actual laws of nature would have been false if something had happened that never actually happened, and in favour of the competing view that history would have been different all the way back. I argue that we can do adequate justice to our ordinary practice of relying on a wide range of historical truths in evaluating counterfactuals by (...)
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  • Explanation, Emergence and Causality: Comments on Crane.Michele Di Francesco - 2010 - In Graham Macdonald & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
    Tim Crane's ‘Cosmic Hermeneutics vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap’ claims that non‐reductive physicalism must either close the explanatory gap, addressing the challenge famously posed by Levine's argument, or become identical to emergentism. Since no way to close the gap is available, the result is that there can be no interesting philosophical position intermediate between physicalism and emergentism. This chapter argues that if we look at the relation between physicalism and emergentism from the vantage point of reduction, Crane's (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szab’O. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted to essays about the interconnections between philosophy (...)
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  • Popper on Irreversibility and the Arrow of Time.Michael Esfeld - unknown
    in Ian Jarvie, Karl Milford and David Miller (eds.): Karl Popper: A centenary assessment, Aldershot: Ashgate 2006, Chapter 45, pp. 57–70.
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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
     
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  • Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection.Frederic Bouchard & Alexander Rosenberg - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.
    We argue that a fashionable interpretation of the theory of natural selection as a claim exclusively about populations is mistaken. The interpretation rests on adopting an analysis of fitness as a probabilistic propensity which cannot be substantiated, draws parallels with thermodynamics which are without foundations, and fails to do justice to the fundamental distinction between drift and selection. This distinction requires a notion of fitness as a pairwise comparison between individuals taken two at a time, and so vitiates the interpretation (...)
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  • Laws and Chances in Statistical Mechanics.Eric Winsberg - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):872-888.
    Statistical mechanics involves probabilities. At the same time, most approaches to the foundations of statistical mechanics--programs whose goal is to understand the macroscopic laws of thermal physics from the point of view of microphysics--are classical; they begin with the assumption that the underlying dynamical laws that govern the microscopic furniture of the world are deterministic. This raises some potential puzzles about the proper interpretation of these probabilities.
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  • Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science.Christopher Hitchcock (ed.) - 2004 - Blackwell.
    Showcasing original arguments for well-defined positions, as well as clear and concise statements of sophisticated philosophical views, this volume is an ...
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  • Enantiomorphy and Time.Jan-Willem Romeyn - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):167-190.
    This article argues that time?asymmetric processes in spacetime are enantiomorphs. Subsequently, the Kantian puzzle concerning enantiomorphs in space is reviewed to introduce a number of positions concerning enantiomorphy, and to arrive at a dilemma: one must either reject that orientations of enantiomorphs are determinate, or furnish space or objects with orientation. The discussion on space is then used to derive two problems in the debate on the direction of time. First, it is shown that certain kinds of reductionism about the (...)
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  • Does Quantum Electrodynamics Have an Arrow of Time?☆.David Atkinson - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (3):528-541.
    Quantum electrodynamics is a time-symmetric theory that is part of the electroweak interaction, which is invariant under a generalized form of this symmetry, the PCT transformation. The thesis is defended that the arrow of time in electrodynamics is a consequence of the assumption of an initial state of high order, together with the quantum version of the equiprobability postulate.
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  • What Time Reversal Invariance is and Why It Matters.John Earman - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):245 – 264.
    David Albert's Time and Chance (2000) provides a fresh and interesting perspective on the problem of the direction of time. Unfortunately, the book opens with a highly non-standard exposition of time reversal invariance that distorts the subsequent discussion. The present article not only has the remedial goal of setting the record straight about the meaning of time reversal invariance, but it also aims to show how the niceties of this symmetry concept matter to the problem of the direction of time (...)
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  • On the Time Reversal Invariance of Classical Electromagnetic Theory.David B. Malament - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35 (2):295-315.
    David Albert claims that classical electromagnetic theory is not time reversal invariant. He acknowledges that all physics books say that it is, but claims they are ``simply wrong" because they rely on an incorrect account of how the time reversal operator acts on magnetic fields. On that account, electric fields are left intact by the operator, but magnetic fields are inverted. Albert sees no reason for the asymmetric treatment, and insists that neither field should be inverted. I argue, to the (...)
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  • The Entropy Theory of Counterfactuals.Douglas Kutach - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):82-104.
    I assess the thesis that counterfactual asymmetries are explained by an asymmetry of the global entropy at the temporal boundaries of the universe, by developing a method of evaluating counterfactuals that includes, as a background assumption, the low entropy of the early universe. The resulting theory attempts to vindicate the common practice of holding the past mostly fixed under counterfactual supposition while at the same time allowing the counterfactual's antecedent to obtain by a natural physical development. Although the theory has (...)
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  • Can Conditioning on the “Past Hypothesis” Militate Against the Reversibility Objections?Eric Winsberg - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (4):489-504.
    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 (...)
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  • A Better Best System Account of Lawhood.Jonathan Cohen & Craig Callender - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):1 - 34.
    Perhaps the most significant contemporary theory of lawhood is the Best System (/MRL) view on which laws are true generalizations that best systematize knowledge. Our question in this paper will be how best to formulate a theory of this kind. We’ll argue that an acceptable MRL should (i) avoid inter-system comparisons of simplicity, strength, and balance, (ii) make lawhood epistemically accessible, and (iii) allow for laws in the special sciences. Attention to these problems will bring into focus a useful menu (...)
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  • Simplicity in the Best Systems Account of Laws of Nature.James Woodward - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):91-123.
    This article discusses the role of simplicity and the notion of a best balance of simplicity and strength within the best systems account (BSA) of laws of nature. The article explores whether there is anything in scientific practice that corresponds to the notion of simplicity or to the trade-off between simplicity and strength to which the BSA appeals. Various theoretical rationales for simplicity preferences and their bearing on the identification of laws are also explored. It is concluded that there are (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2008 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
    Science depends on judgments of the bearing of evidence on theory. Scientists must judge whether an observation or the result of an experiment supports, disconfirms, or is simply irrelevant to a given hypothesis. Similarly, scientists may judge that, given all the available evidence, a hypothesis ought to be accepted as correct or nearly so, rejected as false, or neither. Occasionally, these evidential judgments can be made on deductive grounds. If an experimental result strictly contradicts a hypothesis, then the truth of (...)
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  • Does a Low-Entropy Constraint Prevent Us From Influencing the Past?Mathias Frisch - 2007 - In Andreas Hüttemann & Gerhard Ernst (eds.), Time, Chance, and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13--33.
    David Albert and Barry Loewer have argued that the temporal asymmetry of our concept of causal influence or control is grounded in the statistical mechanical assumption of a low-entropy past. In this paper I critically examine Albert's and Loewer 's accounts.
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  • Chance and Determinism.Roman Frigg - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy.
    Determinism and chance seem to be irreconcilable opposites: either something is chancy or it is deterministic but not both. Yet there are processes which appear to square the circle by being chancy and deterministic at once, and the appearance is backed by well-confirmed scientific theories such as statistical mechanics which also seem to provide us with chances for deterministic processes. Is this possible, and if so how? In this essay I discuss this question for probabilities as they occur in the (...)
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  • Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2016 - In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan H’Ajek (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 573-600.
    This chapter will review selected aspects of the terrain of discussions about probabilities in statistical mechanics (with no pretensions to exhaustiveness, though the major issues will be touched upon), and will argue for a number of claims. None of the claims to be defended is entirely original, but all deserve emphasis. The first, and least controversial, is that probabilistic notions are needed to make sense of statistical mechanics. The reason for this is the same reason that convinced Maxwell, Gibbs, and (...)
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  • Varieties of Bayesianism.Jonathan Weisberg - 2011
    Handbook of the History of Logic, vol. 10, eds. Dov Gabbay, Stephan Hartmann, and John Woods, forthcoming.
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  • Sharpening the Electromagnetic Arrow(s) of Time.John Earman - 2011 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.
    Time in electromagnetism shares many features with time in other physical theories. But there is one aspect of electromagnetism's relationship with time that has always been controversial, yet has not always attracted the limelight it deserves: the electromagnetic arrow of time. Beginning with a re-analysis of a famous argument between Ritz and Einstein over the origins of the radiation arrow, this chapter frames the debate between modern Einsteinians and neo-Ritzians. It tries to find a clean statement of what the arrow (...)
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  • The Time-Asymmetry of Causation.Huw Price & Brad Weslake - 2008 - In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press.
    One of the most striking features of causation is that causes typically precede their effects – the causal arrow is strongly aligned with the temporal arrow. Why should this be so? We offer an opinionated guide to this problem, and to the solutions currently on offer. We conclude that the most promising strategy is to begin with the de facto asymmetry of human deliberation, characterised in epistemic terms, and to build out from there. More than any rival, this subjectivist approach (...)
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  • Enantiomorphy and Time.Jan-Willem Romeijn - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):167 – 190.
    This article argues that time-asymmetric processes in spacetime are enantiomorphs. Subsequently, the Kantian puzzle concerning enantiomorphs in space is reviewed to introduce a number of positions concerning enantiomorphy, and to arrive at a dilemma: one must either reject that orientations of enantiomorphs are determinate, or furnish space or objects with orientation. The discussion on space is then used to derive two problems in the debate on the direction of time. First, it is shown that certain kinds of reductionism about the (...)
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  • Mentaculus Laws and Metaphysics.Heather Demarest - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 23 (3):387--399.
    The laws of nature are central to our understanding of the world. And while there is often broad agreement about the technical formulations of the laws, there can be sharp disagreement about the metaphysical nature of the laws. For instance, the Newtonian laws of nature can be stated and analyzed by appealing to a set of possible worlds. Yet, some philosophers argue the worlds are mere notational devices, while others take them to be robust, concrete entities in their own right. (...)
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  • Does My Total Evidence Support That I’M a Boltzmann Brain?Sinan Dogramaci - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3717-3723.
    A Boltzmann Brain, haphazardly formed through the unlikely but still possible random assembly of physical particles, is a conscious brain having experiences just like an ordinary person. The skeptical possibility of being a Boltzmann Brain is an especially gripping one: scientific evidence suggests our actual universe’s full history may ultimately contain countless short-lived Boltzmann Brains with experiences just like yours or mine. I propose a solution to the skeptical challenge posed by these countless actual Boltzmann Brains. My key idea is (...)
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  • The Cosmic Void.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-Being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. Oxford University Press.
    What exists at the fundamental level of reality? On the standard picture, the fundamental reality contains (among other things) fundamental matter, such as particles, fields, or even the quantum state. Non-fundamental facts are explained by facts about fundamental matter, at least in part. In this paper, I introduce a non-standard picture called the "cosmic void” in which the universe is devoid of any fundamental material ontology. Facts about tables and chairs are recovered from a special kind of laws that satisfy (...)
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  • Causal Reasoning in Physics.Mathias Frisch - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    Much has been written on the role of causal notions and causal reasoning in the so-called 'special sciences' and in common sense. But does causal reasoning also play a role in physics? Mathias Frisch argues that, contrary to what influential philosophical arguments purport to show, the answer is yes. Time-asymmetric causal structures are as integral a part of the representational toolkit of physics as a theory's dynamical equations. Frisch develops his argument partly through a critique of anti-causal arguments and partly (...)
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  • Paradojas Epistémicas en la Aproximación Informacional a la Física Térmica.Javier Anta - 2020 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 24 (3):477-501.
    En este artículo pretendo evaluar las bases conceptuales y interpretativas de las ‘paradojas info-térmicas’ subyacentes a las aproximaciones informacionales a la física térmica, por las cuales nuestra información epistémica sobre un sistema molecular aumenta y disminuye simultáneamente cuando este se aproxima al equilibrio térmico. Defiendo que el contenido paradójico de nuestra tesis persiste incluso cuando se distinguen distintos tipos de información, debido a la conexión robusta entre la parte del incremento y la parte de la disminución informacional de la tesis. (...)
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  • Objectivity and the Method of Arbitrary Functions.Chloé de Canson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axaa001.
    There is widespread excitement in the literature about the method of arbitrary functions: many take it to show that it is from the dynamics of systems that the objectivity of probabilities emerge. In this paper, I differentiate three ways in which a probability function might be objective, and I argue that the method of arbitrary functions cannot help us show that dynamics objectivise probabilities in any of these senses.
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  • Gravity, Entropy, and Cosmology: In Search of Clarity.David Wallace - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):513-540.
    I discuss the statistical mechanics of gravitating systems and in particular its cosmological implications, and argue that many conventional views on this subject in the foundations of statistical mechanics embody significant confusion; I attempt to provide a clearer and more accurate account. In particular, I observe that (i) the role of gravity in entropy calculations must be distinguished from the entropy of gravity, that (ii) although gravitational collapse is entropy-increasing, this is not usually because the collapsing matter itself increases in (...)
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  • Physical Causation and Difference-Making.Alyssa Ney - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
    This paper examines the relationship between physical theories of causation and theories of difference-making. It is plausible to think that such theories are compatible with one another as they are aimed at different targets: the former, an empirical account of actual causal relations; the latter, an account that will capture the truth of most of our ordinary causal claims. The question then becomes: what is the relationship between physical causation and difference-making? Is one kind of causal fact more fundamental than (...)
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  • Deterministic Chance.Luke Glynn - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):51–80.
    I argue that there are non-trivial objective chances (that is, objective chances other than 0 and 1) even in deterministic worlds. The argument is straightforward. I observe that there are probabilistic special scientific laws even in deterministic worlds. These laws project non-trivial probabilities for the events that they concern. And these probabilities play the chance role and so should be regarded as chances as opposed, for example, to epistemic probabilities or credences. The supposition of non-trivial deterministic chances might seem to (...)
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  • Time Reversal in Classical Electromagnetism.Frank Arntzenius & Hilary Greaves - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):557-584.
    Richard Feynman has claimed that anti-particles are nothing but particles `propagating backwards in time'; that time reversing a particle state always turns it into the corresponding anti-particle state. According to standard quantum field theory textbooks this is not so: time reversal does not turn particles into anti-particles. Feynman's view is interesting because, in particular, it suggests a nonstandard, and possibly illuminating, interpretation of the CPT theorem. In this paper, we explore a classical analog of Feynman's view, in the context of (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Laws, Symmetries and Measurability.John T. Roberts - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (2):143-168.
    I describe a problem about the relations among symmetries, laws and measurable quantities. I explain why several ways of trying to solve it will not work, and I sketch a solution that might work. I discuss this problem in the context of Newtonian theories, but it also arises for many other physical theories. The problem is that there are two ways of defining the space-time symmetries of a physical theory: as its dynamical symmetries or as its empirical symmetries. The two (...)
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  • Sklar's Maneuver.Bradford Skow - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):777-786.
    Sklar ([1974]) claimed that relationalism about ontology-the doctrine that space and time do not exist-is compatible with Newtonian mechanics. To defend this claim he sketched a relationalist interpretation of Newtonian mechanics. In his interpretation, absolute acceleration is a fundamental, intrinsic property of material bodies; that a body undergoes absolute acceleration does not entail that space and time exist. But Sklar left his proposal as just a sketch; his defense of relationalism succeeds only if the sketch can be filled in. I (...)
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  • Uniform Probability Distribution Over All Density Matrices.Eddy Keming Chen & Roderich Tumulka - manuscript
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  • The Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Psychological Arrow of Time.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:000-000.
    Can the second law of thermodynamics explain our mental experience of the direction of time? According to an influential approach, the past hypothesis of universal low entropy also explains how the psychological arrow comes about. We argue that although this approach has many attractive features, it cannot explain the psychological arrow after all. In particular, we show that the past hypothesis is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain the psychological arrow on the basis of current physics. We propose two necessary (...)
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  • Quantum Mechanics in a Time-Asymmetric Universe: On the Nature of the Initial Quantum State.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy068.
    In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, we postulate a low-entropy boundary condition to account for the temporal asymmetry. In this paper, I show that the Past Hypothesis also contains enough information to simplify the quantum ontology and define a unique initial condition in such a world. First, I introduce Density Matrix Realism, the thesis that the quantum universe is described by a fundamental density matrix that represents something objective. This stands in sharp contrast to Wave Function (...)
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