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  1. An Alternative Interpretation of Statistical Mechanics.C. D. McCoy - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (1):1-21.
    In this paper I propose an interpretation of classical statistical mechanics that centers on taking seriously the idea that probability measures represent complete states of statistical mechanical systems. I show how this leads naturally to the idea that the stochasticity of statistical mechanics is associated directly with the observables of the theory rather than with the microstates (as traditional accounts would have it). The usual assumption that microstates are representationally significant in the theory is therefore dispensable, a consequence which suggests (...)
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  • Time Arrows and Determinism in Biology.Bartolomé Sabater - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (2):174-182.
    I propose that, in addition to the commonly recognized increase of entropy, two more time arrows influence living beings. The increase of damage reactions, which produce aging and genetic variation, and the decrease of the rate of entropy production involved in natural selection are neglected arrows of time. Although based on the statistical theory of the arrow of time, they are distinguishable from the general arrow of the increase of entropy. Physiology under healthy conditions only obeys the increase of entropy (...)
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  • Prigogine and the Many Voices of Nature.Olimpia Lombardi - 2012 - Foundations of Chemistry 14 (3):205-219.
    Ilya Prigogine was not a systematic author: his ideas, covering a wide arch of areas, are dispersed in his many writings. In particular, his philosophical thought has to be reconstructed mainly on the basis of his works in collaboration with Isabelle Stengers: La Nouvelle Alliance ( 1979 ), Order out of Chaos ( 1984 ), and Entre le Temps et l’Éternité ( 1988 ). In this paper I undertake that reconstruction in order to argue that Prigogine’s position, when read in (...)
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  • Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties.Robert C. Bishop & Harald Atmanspacher - 2006 - Foundations of Physics 36 (12):1753-1777.
    The role of contingent contexts in formulating relations between properties of systems at different descriptive levels is addressed. Based on the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for interlevel relations, a comprehensive classification of such relations is proposed, providing a transparent conceptual framework for discussing particular versions of reduction, emergence, and supervenience. One of these versions, contextual emergence, is demonstrated using two physical examples: molecular structure and chirality, and thermal equilibrium and temperature. The concept of stability is emphasized as a (...)
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  • Downward Causation in Fluid Convection.Robert C. Bishop - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):229 - 248.
    Recent developments in nonlinear dynamics have found wide application in many areas of science from physics to neuroscience. Nonlinear phenomena such as feedback loops, inter-level relations, wholes constraining and modifying the behavior of their parts, and memory effects are interesting candidates for emergence and downward causation. Rayleigh–Bénard convection is an example of a nonlinear system that, I suggest, yields important insights for metaphysics and philosophy of science. In this paper I propose convection as a model for downward causation in classical (...)
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  • Some Philosophical Influences on Ilya Prigogine’s Statistical Mechanics.Joseph E. Earley - 2006 - Foundations of Chemistry 8 (3):271-283.
    During a long and distinguished career, Belgian physical chemist Ilya Prigogine (1917–2003) pursued a coherent research program in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and related scientific areas. The main goal of this effort was establishing the origin of thermodynamic irreversibility (the ‘‘arrow of time’’) as local (residing in the details of the interaction of interest), rather than as global (being solely a consequence of properties of the initial singularity – the ‘‘Big Bang’’). In many publications for general audiences, he stated the opinion (...)
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  • Equilibrium in Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - unknown
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  • The Necessity of Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics.David Wallace - unknown
    In discussions of the foundations of statistical mechanics, it is widely held that the Gibbsian and Boltzmannian approaches are incompatible but empirically equivalent; the Gibbsian approach may be calculationally preferable but only the Boltzmannian approach is conceptually satisfactory. I argue against both assumptions. Gibbsian statistical mechanics is applicable to a wide variety of problems and systems, such as the calculation of transport coefficients and the statistical mechanics and thermodynamics of mesoscopic systems, in which the Boltzmannian approach is inapplicable. And the (...)
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  • Time's Arrow and Irreversibility in Time‐Asymmetric Quantum Mechanics.Mario Castagnino, Manuel Gadella & Olimpia Lombardi - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):223 – 243.
    The aim of this paper is to analyze time-asymmetric quantum mechanics with respect to the problems of irreversibility and of time's arrow. We begin with arguing that both problems are conceptually different. Then, we show that, contrary to a common opinion, the theory's ability to describe irreversible quantum processes is not a consequence of the semigroup evolution laws expressing the non-time-reversal invariance of the theory. Finally, we argue that time-asymmetric quantum mechanics, either in Prigogine's version or in Bohm's version, does (...)
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  • Boltzmann and Gibbs: An Attempted Reconciliation.D. A. Lavis - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):245-273.
  • Fluid Convection, Constraint and Causation.Robert Bishop - 2012 - Interface Focus 2:4-12.
    Complexity–nonlinear dynamics for my purposes in this essay–is rich with metaphysical and epistemological implications but is only recently receiving sustained philosophical analysis. I will explore some of the subtleties of causation and constraint in Rayleigh-Bénard convection as an example of a complex phenomenon, and extract some lessons for further philosophical reflection on top-down constraint and causation particularly with respect to causal foundationalism.
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  • The Arrow of Time in Physics.David Wallace - unknown
    I provide a self-contained introduction to the problem of the arrow of time in physics, concentrating on the irreversibility of dynamical processes as described in statistical mechanics.
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  • The Enigma of Irreversibility and the Interplay Between Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy.Loris Serafino - unknown
    The problem of reconciling a reversible micro-dynamics with the second law of thermodynamics has been a scientific and conceptual challenge for centuries and it continues to animate heated debate even today. In my opinion, one key point lays in the interrelation between the physical, the mathematical and the philosophical aspects of the problem. In many treatments those domains of knowledge dangerously mix, generating confusion and misunderstanding. In this short work I will show how disentangling these three domains for the problem (...)
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  • Time-Reversal Invariance and Irreversibility in Time-Asymmetric Quantum Mechanics.Mario Castagnino, Manuel Gadella & Olimpia Lombardi - unknown
    The aim of this paper is to analyze the concepts of time-reversal invariance and irreversibility in the so-called 'time-asymmetric quantum mechanics'. We begin with pointing out the difference between these two concepts. On this basis, we show that irreversibility is not as tightly linked to the semigroup evolution laws of the theory -which lead to its non time-reversal invariance- as usually suggested. In turn, we argue that the irreversible evolutions described by the theory are coarse-grained processes.
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  • Boltzmann, Gibbs, and the Concept of Equilibrium.David Lavis - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):682-696.
    The Boltzmann and Gibbs approaches to statistical mechanics have very different definitions of equilibrium and entropy. The problems associated with this are discussed and it is suggested that they can be resolved, to produce a version of statistical mechanics incorporating both approaches, by redefining equilibrium not as a binary property but as a continuous property measured by the Boltzmann entropy and by introducing the idea of thermodynamic-like behaviour for the Boltzmann entropy. The Kac ring model is used as an example (...)
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  • Some Philosophical Influences on Ilya Prigogine's Statistical Mechanics.Joseph E. Earley Sr - 2006 - Foundations of Chemistry 8 (3):271-283.
    During a long and distinguished career, Belgian physical chemist Ilya Prigogine (1917–2003) pursued a coherent research program in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and related scientific areas. The main goal of this effort was establishing the origin of thermodynamic irreversibility (the ‘‘arrow of time’’) as local (residing in the details of the interaction of interest), rather than as global (being solely a consequence of properties of the initial singularity – the ‘‘Big Bang’’). In many publications for general audiences, he stated the opinion (...)
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