Abstract
It has become something of a dogma in the philosophy of science that modern cosmology has completed Boltzmann's program for explaining the statistical validity of the Second Law of thermodynamics by providing the low entropy initial state needed to ground the asymmetry in entropic behavior that underwrites our inference about the past. This dogma is challenged on several grounds. In particular, it is argued that it is likely that the Boltzmann entropy of the initial state of the universe is an ill-defined or severely hobbled concept. It is also argued that even if the entropy of the initial state of the universe had a well-defined, low value, this would not suffice to explain why thermodynamics works as well as it does for the kinds of systems we care about. Because the role of Boltzmann entropy in our inferences to the past has been vastly overrated, the failure of the Boltzmann program does not pose a serious problem for our knowledge of the past. But it does call a different explanation of why thermodynamics works as well as it does. A suggestion is offered for a different approach.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2006.03.002
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References found in this work BETA

Thermodynamic Asymmetry in Time.Craig Callender - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What Time Reversal Invariance is and Why It Matters.John Earman - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):245 – 264.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fundamental Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
Philosophy of Cosmology.Chris Smeenk - 2013 - In Robert Batterman (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 607-652.
The Past Hypothesis and the Nature of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Harvard University Press.

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