Philosophy of Science 56 (2):325-340 (1989)

Authors
Stephen Leeds
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Abstract
In their paper "Why Gibbs Phase Averages Work--The Role of Ergodic Theory" (1980), David Malament and Sandy Zabell attempt to explain why phase averaging over the microcanonical ensemble gives correct predictions for the values of thermodynamic observables, for an ergodic system at equilibrium. Their idea is to bypass the traditional use of limit theorems, by relying on a uniqueness result about the microcanonical measure--namely, that it is uniquely stationary translation-continuous. I argue that their explanation begs questions about the relationship between thermodynamic equilibrium and statistical equilibrium; I argue in addition that any account which supports their view of the relationship between these two notions of equilibrium will likely use the limit theorems in traditional ways, and thereby bypass the explanation they offer
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DOI 10.1086/289491
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Taking Thermodynamics Too Seriously.Craig Callender - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):539-553.
Time in Thermodynamics.Jill North - 2011 - In Criag Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press. pp. 312--350.
Justifying Typicality Measures of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics and Dynamical Systems.Charlotte Werndl - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):470-479.
An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability.Jill North - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):27-40.

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