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  1. Towards a theory of emergence for the physical sciences.Sebastian De Haro - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-52.
    I begin to develop a framework for emergence in the physical sciences. Namely, I propose to explicate ontological emergence in terms of the notion of ‘novel reference’, and of an account of interpretation as a map from theory to world. I then construe ontological emergence as the “failure of the interpretation to mesh” with an appropriate linkage map between theories. Ontological emergence can obtain between theories that have the same extension but different intensions, and between theories that have both different (...)
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  • The Question of Negative Temperatures in Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics.David A. Lavis - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
    We show that both positive and negative absolute temperatures and monotonically increasing and decreasing entropy in adiabatic processes are consistent with Carathéodory's version of the second law and we explore the modifications of the Kelvin--Planck and Clausius versions which are needed to accommodate these possibilities.We show, in part by using the equivalence of distributions and the canonical distribution, that the correct microcanonical entropy, is the surface form rather than the bulk form thereby providing for the possibility of negative temperatures and (...)
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  • The Problem of Equilibrium Processes in Thermodynamics.David A. Lavis - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:136-144.
    It is well-known that the invocation of `equilibrium processes' in thermodynamics is oxymoronic. However, their prevalence and utility, particularly in elementary accounts, presents a problem. We consider a way in which their role can be played by sets of sequences of processes demarcated by curves carrying the property of accessibility. We also examine the vexed question of whether equilibrium processes are necessarily reversible and the revision of this property in relation to sets of sequences of such processes.
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  • Stars and Steam Engines: To What Extent Do Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Apply to Self-Gravitating Systems?Katie Robertson - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1783-1808.
    Foundational puzzles surround gravitational thermal physics—a realm in which stars are treated as akin to molecules in a gas. Whether such an enterprise is successful and the domain of thermal physics extends beyond our terrestrial sphere is disputed. There are successes and paradoxical features. Callender :960–981, 2011) advocates reconciling the two sides of the dispute by taking a broader view of thermodynamics. Here I argue for an alternative position: if we are careful in distinguishing statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, then no (...)
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  • On the Paradox of Reversible Processes in Thermodynamics.Giovanni Valente - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1761-1781.
    This paper discusses an argument by Norton to the effect that reversible processes in thermodynamics have paradoxical character, due to the infinite-time limit. For Norton, one can “dispel the fog of paradox” by adopting a distinction between idealizations and approximations, which he himself puts forward. Accordingly, reversible processes ought to be regarded as approximations, rather than idealizations. Here, we critically assess his proposal. In doing so, we offer a resolution of his alleged paradox based on the original work by Tatiana (...)
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  • Infinite Idealizations in Science: An Introduction.Samuel C. Fletcher, Patricia Palacios, Laura Ruetsche & Elay Shech - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1657-1669.
    We offer a framework for organizing the literature regarding the debates revolving around infinite idealizations in science, and a short summary of the contributions to this special issue.
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  • Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Elay Shech - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12514.
    In this essay, I provide an overview of the debate on infinite and essential idealizations in physics. I will first present two ostensible examples: phase transitions and the Aharonov– Bohm effect. Then, I will describe the literature on the topic as a debate between two positions: Essentialists claim that idealizations are essential or indispensable for scientific accounts of certain physical phenomena, while dispensabilists maintain that idealizations are dispensable from mature scientific theory. I will also identify some attempts at finding a (...)
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