In Criag Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press. pp. 312--350 (2011)
AbstractOr better: time asymmetry in thermodynamics. Better still: time asymmetry in thermodynamic phenomena. “Time in thermodynamics” misleadingly suggests that thermodynamics will tell us about the fundamental nature of time. But we don’t think that thermodynamics is a fundamental theory. It is a theory of macroscopic behavior, often called a “phenomenological science.” And to the extent that physics can tell us about the fundamental features of the world, including such things as the nature of time, we generally think that only fundamental physics can. On its own, a science like thermodynamics won’t be able to tell us about time per se. But the theory will have much to say about everyday processes that occur in time; and in particular, the apparent asymmetry of those processes. The pressing question of time in the context of thermodynamics is about the asymmetry of things in time, not the asymmetry of time, to paraphrase Price ( , ). I use the title anyway, to underscore what is, to my mind, the centrality of thermodynamics to any discussion of the nature of time and our experience in it. The two issues—the temporal features of processes in time, and the intrinsic structure of time itself—are related. Indeed, it is in part this relation that makes the question of time asymmetry in thermodynamics so interesting. This, plus the fact that thermodynamics describes a surprisingly wide range of our ordinary experience. We’ll return to this. First, we need to get the question of time asymmetry in thermodynamics out on the table.
Similar books and articles
The Origins of Time-Asymmetry in Thermodynamics: The Minus First Law.R. H., Uffink &Unknown & J. - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):525-538.
Time, Chance, and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics.Gerhard Ernst & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.) - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
Understanding the Time‐Asymmetry of Radiation.Jill North - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1086-1097.
The Limits of Information.D. J. - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):511-524.
Remarks on the Direction of Time in Quantum Mechanics.Meir Hemmo - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1458-1471.
The Flow of Time: Scientific and Theological Perspectives.Jonathan Walgate - 2001 - Philosophy and Theology 13 (2):311-332.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Quantum Mechanics in a Time-Asymmetric Universe: On the Nature of the Initial Quantum State.Eddy Keming Chen - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1155–1183.
Time's Arrow in a Quantum Universe: On the Status of Statistical Mechanical Probabilities.Eddy Keming Chen - 2020 - In Valia Allori (ed.), Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature. World Scientific. pp. 479–515.
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.
Quantum States of a Time-Asymmetric Universe: Wave Function, Density Matrix, and Empirical Equivalence.Eddy Keming Chen - 2019 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
References found in this work
The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.